Home » Articles » Topical » For the rental community, there are answers, but they don’t fit the questions

For the rental community, there are answers, but they don’t fit the questions

As part of our Pledge to Net Zero, at Landmark, we have committed to work positively toward the 2050 global net zero goals. We’ve put climate change at the top of our agenda, and we want it to drive decisions across the property and real estate industry. 

Together, as a community, we have the power to make our innovations and choices make a difference. Because if we’re going to make a difference, climate change has to be at the front of our minds.  

To find out where the rest of the industry stands and where it’s heading, we reached out for conversations with industry experts to bolster our understanding of the property sector. Those conversations grew into a collection of learnings we published and shared as our Climate Change Reports: The New Frontier of Real Estate Due Diligence. The paper explores the ways the property and real estate industry is working to build a better planet. 

Between a rock and a hard place 

In her white paper contribution, Theresa Wallace, co-founder of The Lettings Industry Council (TLIC), identifies multiple quandaries facing landlords, tenants and letting agents who want to do the right thing in the face of climate change risks – yet lack legislated direction. 

“With no concrete guidelines or advice, landlords are unable to effectively plan and act. Many landlords want to do the right thing; they want to make the changes… but first they want to know what the right changes are.” 

She warns the risk goes beyond the effects of climate change, citing the erosion of the rental sector and an acute crisis for renters. Therefore, she argues, both landlords and agents need help in the form of information, education and the right tools to make a difference. 

Finding the way forward 

“Until we know the regulations, boundaries, caps, structures, dates and exactly what standards landlords must comply with, the lettings industry is in limbo. Landlords are waiting to take that next step. They’re waiting to hear, plan and act. In the meantime, they might fall back on guesswork – but that could prove expensive. Agents and advisors are none the wiser, either.” 

As the industry waits for further information and guidance, Theresa shares cautionary tales of landlords taking proactive measures; one who refitted a whole block of flats with electric heating, and unwittingly lost his C rating. Another successfully found an electric heating system capable of getting the EPC to a C rating, but at massive expense. Little wonder, then, that some landlords are delaying energy efficiency works until they hear further. 

Theresa and the members of the TLIC are united in their desire to improve standards across the sector. In our Climate Change Reports: The New Frontier of Real Estate Due Diligence paper, she encourages collaboration between parties to provide one voice in support of a regulated industry. She draws on European case studies and examples from other industries to explore a streamlined future for both tenants and landlords. 

It’s a fascinating read that will give you and your organisation plenty to think about as you build your own clearer picture of the current state of climate change reporting in the rental sector and where it’s heading.  

Read the executive summary of the white paper & the video from our Climate Change event here.

Blog originally published by Landmark Information Group.