Calling all landlords! If you’re currently renting any properties within the private rented sector, the government has made a change to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations and it is more than likely to affect both you and your tenants. From the 1st April 2018, most landlords, unless legally exempt, will be legally obligated to ensure that their privately rented properties have a minimum EPC rating of E. This means that any landlord with an EPC rating of F or G will have to make modifications to their properties in order to raise their rating; if they fail to do so they run the risk of being sanctioned with a fixed penalty fine of up to £4000.
The change, which was set out by the Minimum Energy-Efficiency Standards (MEES), will be applicable to most new lets and renewals of tenancies within the private rented sector from the 1st April 2018, however it won’t be extended to existing properties until 1st April 2020.
What does that mean for landlords?
The new legislation seeks to reduce “fuel poverty” in England and Wales, a term used to describe the state of being unable to adequately heat one’s home. The government also hopes that the new regulation will reduce our carbon footprint and promote an overall more energy-efficient way of life.
The new legislation will legally prompt landlords to invest in energy-efficient measures in order to improve their EPC ratings. Retrofit measures include A-rated boiler systems, external wall insulation systems and ground source heat pumps. These measures can indeed be expensive however they could also work in your favour as you may be able to increase your property’s value as well as its appeal to potential tenants. Furthermore, with there being talks of the government raising the minimum EPC rating to a C by 2035, retrofitting your property could prepare you for both upcoming and future requirements.
How can landlords get an EPC for their rented properties?
If you’re a landlord with a property within the private rented sector, you can get an EPC rating by arranging an appointment with a domestic energy assessor who will come and inspect the household. It has always been a legal requirement for landlords to provide an EPC as soon as they place the property on the market; the certificates last for 10 years and you risk facing an approximate £200 fine if you fail to provide a valid EPC to your tenant. Prices for EPC’s usually start at approximately £35, you should be able to find a local assessor on the EPC website.
How does the new legislation affect tenants?
The new legislation was initiated by MEES to improve the energy-efficiency of homes within the private rented sector to improve the standards of living for tenants as well as making their daily household habits more environmentally-friendly. The new regulation also promotes a wider awareness of the importance of energy-efficiency within the household, highlighting the benefits of being informed. For example, a home with an energy efficient new boiler could reduce energy wastage and enable huge savings.
How can tenants access their homes’ Energy Performance Certificates?
The online EPC Register should provide you with access to the EPCs for all properties.
The government is constantly seeking new methods to promote energy-efficient, cost-effective lifestyles. So, if you’re a landlord with a property in England or Wales, it would be wise for you to start considering what you can do to improve