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Q. & A. - As a landlord, how can I prepare for the forthcoming EPC changes?

Fri 15 Sep 2017

As most of our readers will be aware, it is a legal requirement for all rental properties to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place. There are exceptions for landlords who are renting out a room and for listed buildings, but other than that, it is against the law to advertise a property without an EPC.

An EPC shows the efficiency of a property on a scale of A – G, A being the highest and most efficient and G being the lowest and least efficient. From the 1st April 2018 new ‘Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards’ will be launched meaning that a landlord cannot start a new tenancy (or renew an existing tenancy) at a property where the Energy Efficiency Rating is a F or G. Furthermore, from April 2020 all rental properties will be required to have an Energy Efficiency Rating of E or above and it will be illegal to continue a tenancy at a property that has a rating of F or G. Our Compliance Officer, Tara Dempsey, has been helping our landlords prepare for the new requirements since the beginning of the year. We would advise that all landlords start their preparations by thoroughly reviewing the Energy Performance Certificate for each of their properties.

Along with the current rating the EPC will also provide:

  • Suggestions for improving efficiency
  • The potential efficiency of the property

 

An EPC Assessor can then help to advise the best course of action. Generally, ratings can be improved by:

  • Increasing loft insulation
  • Replacing lighting with low energy fixings
  • Replacing the boiler
  • Carrying out draught proofing measures

Some improvement work is eligible for ‘Green Deal Finance’, a scheme which is ran by the Government.

Once all work has been completed a new EPC can be arranged and this will then be valid for 10 years.

A new EPC showing your property to be more efficient than previously will not only ensure that you are compliant but will also mean that your property is more marketable to prospective tenants.

 

A landlord can be exempt from reaching the minimum Energy Efficiency Rating standard if they can provide evidence that:

  • Cost-effective work has been carried out at the property but it still remains below the minimum standard
  • Consent to carry out work is required from a third-party and this consent was denied or provided with unreasonable conditions
  • The proposed work will devalue the property by 5% or more

For further information on the forthcoming legislation changes contact Tara on 01530 271313, Option 5.

"Such efficiency is almost scarey!"
C Gellion

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