It is important that landlords keep up to date with all of the changes with respect to rules and regulations of their industry. There have been many changes in recent times but any landlord who felt that 2018 was going to be slightly easier will probably want to think again. As of the 1st of April 2018, there will be big changes relating to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating for new lets.
The change is related to the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations of 2015 and the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards or MEES, which are being introduced. The change comes into effect for new lets and renewals of tenancies from the 1st of April of 2018 and by the 1st of April 2020, this regulation will be applicable to all existing tenancies. The minimum rating for these tenancies will be an E rating and if a landlord doesn’t comply with the regulations, they may face a civil penalty of up to £4,000.
Know the full regulations regarding the MEES
There are some exemptions where a landlord will be able to let property that holds a lower EPC rating than this, and these exemptions include:
- Where a third party has to provide agreement for improvements to be undertaken and they don’t
- Where work carried out on the property would lower the value of the property by at least 5% (this will be evaluated by an independent professional)
- Where all possible improvements have been carried out and the property still falls below the EPC rating
- Where the landlord would be left out of pocket
It is essential that landlords are aware that there are grants and funding on offer to ensure they comply with the regulations. The exemptions can only exist for a maximum of five years and they are not able to be transferred over to another landlord.
It makes sense to improve the EPC rating of your property
There is a lot to be said for improving the energy efficiency rating of a property and this is true for landlords and tenants. A real benefit to the tenant comes with the fact that moving from a G rating to an E rating can lower the average annual heating bills by more than £1,000. This is something that will please a tenant and may help them stay in the property for a longer period. This will be of benefit to the landlord, minimising void periods and ensuring that they have less work to do.
A landlord can also take comfort in knowing that their property is in better condition, it’s value should have improved and they will likely be able to raise rental fees with some justification.
We know that things are difficult for landlords at the moment and if you need any assistance or guidance, please get in touch with Williams of Petersfield and we will do our best to help you out. This is just one of the many changes that landlords have had to deal with but we are on hand to ensure you know what you need to know.