We’re all familiar with EPCs, but there are changes in legislation coming which mean that landlords will need to make improvements to any property with an energy performance rating that is below an E. This will apply to all new lets and renewal tenancies from April 2018, and from April 2020 to ALL existing tenancies.
The big question is how can this be achieved, and how much will it cost?
The first place to start is to review your existing EPC as they contain a ‘current’ and a ‘potential’ rating. Within the certificate the assessor will have detailed recommended improvements and the impact these could have on the overall rating if carried out. In many cases, the required improvements are low cost or even zero cost via government funded schemes, some of which your tenant can apply for (and has the legal right to do so since April 2016). Common examples of improvements are:
Our experience is that the majority of properties we manage are already rated at E or above, but for the handful that are affected by these changes the key message is not to panic, as the most commonly required changes are low cost or part/all grant funded. In addition is possible to apply for exemptions under certain circumstances including refusal of consent from occupying tenant or mortgage provider, or if the improvements would result in devaluation of the property. Some properties (including Listed Buildings) are exempt – see Link for a list of current exemptions.
Of course we encourage all landlords to regularly review energy efficiency even where ratings are already at E or above, as improvements can increase the value of your properties and make them more attractive to future tenants, as well as helping existing tenants save money on their bills.