Landlords: Make Some New EPC Regulation ResolutionsPosted by: Katie Piper | Post date: 23.01.18
Most people have New Year’s resolutions that involve eating more healthily or doing more exercise but, if you’re a landlord, you should definitely have a few focused around getting ready for the changes in regulations around energy efficiency coming into effect in April this year. Knowing exactly what your obligations are, finding out what changes you need to make and how to go about making them are all things you need to think about and all things we can help you with.
What is the Regulation?
From 1st April 2018, it will be unlawful to rent out a property under a new or renewing lease with an energy performance score under rating E. From April 1st 2020, it will be unlawful to be renting out a property with a lower rating even on an existing lease. Your property gets this rating from its Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which, as you know, you need to have before selling or renting out your property. Some properties and some circumstances are exempt from this regulation but if you are not exempt, you could face a fine of up to £5,000 for failing to comply.
What are the Exemptions?
Obviously, properties that are exempt from needing EPCs, such as listed buildings, will be exempt from these new regulations too. Other exemptions can be quite complicated so it is worth speaking to one of our team if you are unsure about whether your property qualifies or not but a few key ones include:
- If the cost of the energy efficiency changes are not cost effective enough to be paid back in savings over seven years.
- If you make every reasonable effort to obtain ‘third party consent’ to carry out the energy efficiency measures but can’t obtain it.
- If the measures would devalue the property by 5% or more.
- Under some circumstances a six month temporary exemption can be granted to new landlords but you would definitely need to speak to one of our team to check that out for you if you need it.
How can I Find Out which Changes I Need to Make?
Fortunately, if you have bought or let out your property in the last 10 years, it will have an EPC and this will list changes you can make to your property to allow it to gain a higher energy efficiency rating. If you don’t have one or you feel it might be a bit out of date, you can get another one done through us.
What Small Things can I do to Make my Property more Energy Efficient?
As you’ve still got a bit of time before these regulations come into effect, there are a few things you can do to make your property more energy efficient which will make it more attractive to tenants as well as meeting these regulations:
- Drafty windows are a particular problem in Brighton but there are inexpensive options such as insultation strips and window film to lessen those annoying drafts.
- Switching old fashioned light bulbs to energy efficient ones is another inexpensive thing you can do.
- Replacing loft insulation is cheaper than replacing wall insulation but you may need to do both if it says so in your EPC.
- Adding a secondary energy efficient heat source in the living room needn’t be expensive though and can really save on energy bills as well as potentially looking quite fancy.
- Changing the boiler is the big one really and, although this isn’t cheap, it could save you a world of grief later on.
If you are unsure about anything regarding these new regulations or would like some more helpful hints about making your property more energy efficient or more attractive to tenants, speak to one of our team on 01273 917791 and we’d be delighted to help.