The new Minimum Energy Efficiency Regulations came into force on 1 April 2018. Without an EPC rated E or above, landlords face civil and criminal penalties for signing a new tenancy, or renewing an existing tenancy on properties with a rating of F or G. There are fines of up to £4,000 for landlords that are found in breach of the legislation. The Government estimates that up to 10% of all domestic properties in England and Wales currently have an EPC rating of lower than band E.
So which properties do the new EPC rules apply to?
• Domestic properties in the private rental sector
• Properties on a lease between 6 months and 99 years
• Properties in England and Wales. (Scotland currently has a similar legislation that is already in place.)
Are there any exemptions?
• Properties where all improvements have been made and the property rating remains below E.
• Properties that fall within the scope of a “Listed Building”
• Properties that are hard to treat or improve for structural reasons
However, exemptions must be registered on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.
What about Longterm Lets with an F or G rating?
From 1st April 2020 all domestic private rental properties must be at a minimum of EPC band E, whether a new lease is being signed or not.
What to do now?
1. Ensure your property has a valid and up-to-date EPC. You can search the EPC register for copies of existing certificates. This website also lists accredited Domestic Energy Assessors if you require a new EPC.
2. Make the necessary improvements to raise the Energy Efficiency rating. Improvements might include loft and wall insulation, LED lighting, or updating old boilers and appliances.
3. Some energy companies offer help to landlords and you can contact them for advice and find out how to upgrade your property’s energy efficiency.
4. There may be help available to landlords via the Government’s Green Deal initiative.
5. More information on the new guidelines can be found in the Government’s Guidance to Landlords of Private Rental Properties.