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Renters facing higher costs want landlords to make 'sustainable upgrades'

Renters facing higher costs want landlords to make 'sustainable upgrades'
Anna Sagar
Written By:
Anna Sagar

Most renters who expect their costs to rise want their landlords to make green improvements, a survey from NatWest has shown.

The NatWest Greener Homes Attitude Tracker and S&P Global found that 63% of renters anticipated a rise in rental costs over the next 12 months. Among these, 75% felt this would be offset by retrofitting the property. 

According to the study, rental homes tend to be less well-insulated, with 42% of rental homes having tanks, pipes and cavity wall insulation compared to 58% of owner-occupied properties. 

Homeowner attitudes 

Homeowners’ approach to sustainability appeared to have dwindled over time. A fifth said they planned to make improvements to their homes in the next year, which was the lowest proportion since the second half of 2021. 

The proportion of those planning to make upgrades within the next decade also fell from 67% in the second half of 2022 to 64% last year. 

Of those wanting to get onto the housing ladder, 39% of prospective buyers looking to purchase in the next decade said a property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating was very important, down from 41% a year ago. 

For homeowners who are not planning on making any improvements in the next 10 years due to the cost, the upfront expense was a barrier for 67% of respondents, while 55% did not want to take on debt to fund the work. 

Respondents want the Government to act faster when encouraging sustainability, as 28% said the state was moving “much too slowly” and 23% said the progress was happening “a little too slowly”. 

Lloyd Cochrane, head of mortgages at NatWest, said: “Cost and disruption continue to be major barriers for homeowners looking to make sustainable changes to their homes. We’ve also seen from latest data that renters are increasingly calling for landlords to address the energy efficiency of their properties. 

“We recently introduced the Home Energy Hub to help to solve that problem for homeowners, by making it faster to understand, commission and pay for the work they might need.”