From 1st April 2018 new minimum EPC ratings have been in place and landlords can no longer rent properties if they do not have an EPC certificate rating of E or above.
When the legislation was passed in 2015, it was estimated that 1/10 rental properties in England and Wales did not comply with these new rules and therefore could face substantial fines if they fail to meet the minimum requirements when renting their property.
What properties does the new rule apply to?
Any private rental property is subject to the new regulations, there are several ways you will be classed and will need to meet the minimum requirements. For example:
- You grant a new tenancy (including shorthold)
- A tenancy is renewed or extended
- A family member of the current tenant takes over a Rent Act protected tenancy
- A tenant stays after the original fixed term has expired
- A Rent Act protected tenant takes out a new tenancy in the same or different property owned by the same landlord
Does the change just apply to new tenancies?
The new regulations came into force on 1st April 2018, and from this date, any new lets and renewals of tenancies will need to be compliant. Existing tenancies will have to be compliant by 1st April 2020.
If your rental property does not reach the minimum rating, you are breaking the law and could receive a civil penalty of up to £4,000.
If your property fails to meet the requirements by these dates, you will need to prepare your property to comply with the minimum EPC rating of E prior to any new rental agreements.
Tips for Landlords
An EPC contains information about the properties energy use and typical energy costs and recommendations on how to save money and reduce energy use. Here are some simple tips to help ensure your property is complaint:
- Revisit your most recent EPC certificate and review the recommendations provided. Retrieve your EPC certificate here: https://www.epcregister.com/reportSearchAddressTerms.html
- Renew your property’s certificate. Although you are only required to renew your certificate every 10 years, over the past decade, assessment methods have factored in more and more variables, which may alter your results (for better or for worse).
- Upgrade your lighting to LED.
- Ensure all appliances such as washing machines and fridges have a good EPC rating.
- Insulate your hot water cylinder, walls and roof. Add a jacket to your cylinder and check the insulation in your loft.
- Fit draft excluders to the trims of doors.
- Change single glazed windows and doors to double glazed.
- Identify any government schemes you are eligible for. Some upgrades are government subsidised. For assistance, contact your local authority.
Please be aware that it is considered an offence to withhold consent for any reasonable request from a tenant to improve the energy efficiency of their home. For further guidance, check the .Gov website for further information.
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Posted on: 2 April 2018