Many private landlords have long seen older terraced houses as the mainstay of a rental portfolio. Recent climate change proposals may force a rethink.
Back in March, the government confirmed that from 2030, the vast majority of new cars sold in the UK will have to be electric. The humble gas boiler might be next on the agenda. Its all about Energy Performance Certificates.
The government's own Climate Change Committee (CCC) has proposed that all homes sold in the UK after 2028 will need to have an EPC of C or above. In London, 37% of homes have a rating of E or below, most of them older properties, never built with energy efficiency in mind.
The CCC isn't alone. The International Energy Agency has also highlighted home heating as an area where significant CO2 reductions can be made.
There are clear risks for a property investor - the cost of retrofits, including the likes of new heating and boilers, insulation and room thermostats could reach thousands of pounds. Without the right EPC rating, rental and resale values are likely to take a hit.
It is difficult to see how high EPCs might be enforced, after all, if there is a willing buyer and a willing seller.... As the proposal develops, we will see how this works out.
Will landlords desert the terraced house? Well, no. They will always have their attractions and the upgrades will get done, but if you are considering property as an investment right now, think about future-proofing yourself. Buy new.