As of 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for all rented properties to have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate.
In real terms this means that more than 400,000 (1 in 10) properties in England and Wales could become unlettable because they fail to meet the new standards.
These new standards may come as a surprise to some landlords, 1 in 4 of whom apparently don’t know what their property’s rating is, according to a recent survey by the energy company E.ON.
The bad news is that local authorities will be able to impose civil penalties of up to £4,000 for non-compliance. In addition, landlords who do not have a valid EPC could also face a fine of £200 and may be unable to serve a section 21 notice to gain possession at the end of the tenancy.
If you’re unsure what the energy performance rating is for your property, you should arrange to get a certificate from an accredited energy surveyor. The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) highlights two key areas about a rental property:
1. The energy efficiency rating – Essentially, how much the home costs to run
2. The environmental impact rating – Based on the amount of carbon dioxide released into the environment because of the home
Government figures show that average energy bills for a band G property are £2,860 per year, whereas for band E they are £1,710 per year. Where homes have to be brought up to a minimum EPC the Government has capped the amount it expects landlords to pay at £2,500 to get their property up to standard.
Each certificate will last for 10 years, unless any major renovation work is carried out.
If the recommendation report come back with suggestion to improve the energy efficiency within the property, after 1st April you will be legally obligated to make the necessary improvements.
Here are 5 top tips to help you prepare for the change and improve your property’s energy efficiency:
- Review your properties to check what their energy efficiency rating is.
- If efficiency improvements need to be made, you are likely to improve the value of the properties. In turn, your tenants will benefit from energy savings.
- Most of a building’s heat is lost through poor sealing of doors and windows and through sub-standard insulation in the roof and walls. Adding new window and door seals is a cost-effective way to reduce/stop drafts. Likewise, adding insulation to lofts and attics to reduce heat loss through the roof.
- Installing low energy LED lights is a quick and easy solution, with smart home technology making it easier for landlords to manage the energy efficiency of their properties.
- Some energy companies are offering help to landlords, including online account management or meeting the cost of insulating properties.
If you require help or advice on any aspect of energy efficiency and the new regulations, please do get in touch with us. Our helpful, friendly property team has years of experience and would be pleased to help you.