OSB Group and Skipton Building Society have launched two schemes worth £61m to encourage landlords to invest in green homes.
OSB Group says its £50m Landlord Leader Fund will help its existing landlords upgrade their properties to an energy performance certificate rating of C or above in 2023.
This will be done through earmarked lending available at subsidised mortgage rates, covering new loans with refurbishment needs and standalone refurbishment projects.
The group – which owns several brands including Precise Mortgages, Kent Reliance and Charter Savings Bank – will introduce a product range “with accommodating loan-to-values and interest coverage ratios during refurbishment, to improve the property value and appeal to tenants”.
It pledges to improve its underwriting process to understand the complexities of property upgrades, and will offer landlords access to tax specialists “who can provide advice and guidance on tax planning for part-time landlords looking to professionalise”.
OSB Group chief executive Andy Golding says: “The time has come for the private rented sector to seriously consider what is next.
“We are on the precipice of change which will create significant benefits for tenants, but at what cost? There is an opportunity for the industry to rise to this new challenge and help support both professional and part-time landlords to ensure the industry thrives and continues to focus on its tenants.”
Meanwhile, Skipton Building Society has launched an £11m scheme, which will see the mutual offer free energy performance certificate-plus report to all its mortgage customers, including buy-to-let owners
The mutual says its existing landlords will be able to request up to 10 EPC-plus reports for the properties they own, even though the landlord is only required to have one mortgage with Skipton.
The building society, which will run the scheme with its property services firm Vibrant, says its EPC-plus report, not only provides the current energy efficiency rating of the property “but what the home’s potential EPC rating could be”.
The business says the report “includes a bespoke guide on how the landlord can achieve it, how much it could reduce their tenant’s energy bills by, and signposts to sources of funding potentially available. It also estimates the tonnes of carbon produced by the household.”
It adds that each report details the typical costs associated with making any of the recommended changes to the properties mentioned and provides access to registered, independent, recommended tradespeople who can make changes.
The society adds that for properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it can help landlords find out if they are eligible for exemptions under the minimum energy efficiency standards and how to enter this on the private rented sector exemptions register.
Skipton Building Society interim chief commercial officer Kris Brewster says: “We understand that making any upgrades to the home can be a significant financial undertaking.
“To have a healthy housing market, we need to support every rung on the property ladder, and that includes people living in rental properties. Landlords play an integral part of housing provision but equally face massive challenges in greening their homes.”