As of April 2018, there will be a number of changes made to the EPC regulations that determine the energy efficiency of a property. These changes will affect landlords of both privately rented domestic and non-domestic properties in England and Wales. Failure to meet an EPC rating of F and G after these changes will make it unlawful to let or lease the property.
Here at Roger Hannah & Co, we know how important it is to keep on top of changes to the property landscape, as you want to comply with the law every step of the way when it comes to renting out your properties. As such, here are some of the changes that are coming to EPC regulations which you will have to comply with in order continue legally renting your property:
From April, landlords will need to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES). This will now affect any property with a lease between 6 months and 99 years. At first, this will affect all new tenancies but will be extended to include all tenancies as of 2020.
Any properties found to fail with these compliances and achieve an F or G rating will be deemed unfit for rental. Meaning that appropriate measures will need to be taken to improve the rating if the landlord wishes to continue renting the property.
Exemptions could include listed buildings, as any major changes may alter the significant characteristics of the building. For example, replacing windows could improve the EPC rating of a building. But, a landlord of a listed building would have to attain the required permission to do so and may not be granted it. In this case, they may be granted exemption from the new regulations.
How to Improve Your Rating
The improvements to your EPC rating depend on your particular property and why you may have scored low in the first place. Common ways to raise the score include:
- Wall, floor and roof insulation.
- Draught proofing.
- Double-glazed windows.
- Hot water controls and timers (to help reduce overuse).
- LED bulbs.
More profound changes that can help to improve your energy efficiency includes replacing older boilers for more efficient models. Modern solar panels could also be fitted to your property as a way of generating some of your own energy. A final way to improve your rating is that of replacing all appliances with A rated models, especially when it comes to fridges, freezers, washing machines and other appliances that are on more often.
In the Event of Failure
Landlords that do fail to make changes will find themselves with a hefty fine, one which can be up to £150,000 in worst case scenarios. There is also a £5,000 fine for presenting false or misleading information to local authorities. The same fine will also be levied to anyone who fails to answer a compliance notice. Illegally renting out a property, after failure, could also lead to a fine of up to 10% of the properties value.
Ultimately, the cost of non-compliance will be hefty. Which is why it is better to act now and ensure that your property is at an EPC rating of E or above before April 2018. And, if you find that it is not, make the steps to either raise the rating or ensure the needed exemptions are in place.