As a landlord you have a number of responsibilities either directly to your tenants or for the specifics of your property. Recent changes regarding Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) means landlords need to be aware of the new laws and make sure their properties are up to scratch.
Read this blog for more information.
What are the changes to Energy Performance Certificates?
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has now made it illegal to rent out a property with anything below an E rating. This applies to both residential and commercial properties and so applies to almost every landlord.
These changes have been brought in to try and make properties more energy efficient. It is believed that between 2008 and 2015, 35% of commercial buildings and 26% of residential properties only achieved an E, F or G rating on their EPC survey, meaning there are a lot of properties that will need to make changes.
It is likely older properties and those built in the early twentieth century are most likely to have poor ratings as they tend to lack any insulation. Tenants of energy inefficient properties are usually left with high energy bills. However the change in law means that landlords of these properties could face fines of £5,000 for renting out property that are not up to standard. Tenants who have their home improved from EPC band G to E could save as much as £1,150 a year, but despite the vast differences in energy bills, only 19% of tenants say they have seen the property’s Energy Performance Certificate.
To avoid these fines, landlords of F and G rated properties will need to make improvements to their properties to meet the new standards. The improvements should be made at no cost to the landlord.
What can be done?
Landlords may be inclined to panic on receipt of this news, but there are ways to comply with the new laws. As many as 40% of privately rented homes could have their energy rating improved simply by installing loft insulation, so it’s important to get a proper assessment of your property. Properties may also require new boilers or double glazing to help with effectively heating a property.
Since 2012, the number of properties falling into the poor ratings category has more than halved, showing that landlords were already making the move to provide better quality housing before the laws were changed.
To find out what improvements need to be made to your property, you should check your Energy Performance Certificate Recommendations Report or you should obtain a Green Deal Report which will detail what is necessary. There are funding and financing options available through the Energy Company Obligation and the Green Deal Finance, and landlords can find out more about what options are open to them through the Energy Saving Advice Line.
If you need more advice, Ask a lawyer.