There could be hundreds of thousands of rental homes in the UK that currently have a substandard energy efficiency rating. Landlords could each be facing a fine of £5000 if their property doesn’t have a minimum E rating as of April 1st.
Whilst this is yet another cost to Landlords, renters in some of the coldest homes are paying almost 3 times as much in heating bills. Nowadays, the energy efficiency of a home is high up on renters shopping list of important requirements. Apart from the rent, the household utilities are the biggest outgoing.
Various grants available to assist Landlords who own some of the less energy efficient homes to meet the cost of any required upgrades. There is a spending cap of 3,500 for Landlords who are funding any upgrades to meet the new criteria.
An abundance of information and tips are out there on how to reduce the the carbon footprint of your home. Having said that, in the London area for example, much of the housing stock dates to the Victorian period, and a good few of these homes are just not up to the job.
Like all regulations, the minimum standards in respect of Energy Performance in rented homes is a prelude to what we can expect in the future. My advice to Landlords, be they clients of mine or those of other Agents, is to plan with the view that Government will raise the bar again in the future. Therefore, with that in mind, aim to have a D rating after any remedial works that may be needed to keep you ahead of the curve. We can assist Landlords with this , whether you are a client of ours or not.
What do Landlords and Homeowners need to know?
The domestic minimum energy efficiency standard (mee’s) is what this new rule is called. It applies to most tenancies, homes that are being sold and any that have had changes or modifications made to them in the past 10 years.
Landlords with tenancies that predate April 2018 and continue until at least April 2020 , an upgrade is mandatory, or you must register for an exemption by April 1st.
For tenancies that have ended or are due to end imminently, then an upgrade is required immediately. The property cannot otherwise be lawfully rented. Any vacant homes do not need to be upgraded unless they are going to be rented. If that is the case, it would be an ideal opportunity to have any upgrades done in readiness. The fine for non-compliance is up to £5000 for each property.
What are the costs?
The costs will be capped to £3,500 for Landlords who are funding the upgrades themselves. If after that point the Energy Efficiency Rating cannot be improved to the minimum E grade, you may apply for a partial exemption. There are finance options such as Green Deal schemes, local council grants and offers from energy suppliers. Homeowners and Landlords may have to pay up to the cost cap if the amount they borrow for upgrades doesn’t sufficiently improve the energy rating. I would advise all homeowners to check over their current certificates and review the recommendations put in place at the time. Costs for upgrades will vary in all cases. For example, it could be loft insulation for £250 or double glazing throughout for several thousands.
If you are a self-managing landlord or a landlord with another Agent, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone if you have any concerns about the new regulations. How to read an EPC graph, how to find the EPC rating of your home, in fact- anything, call me. A £5000 fine and £3,500 improvement bill are the last thing you need !
I can be reached at the office on 020 8366 9777.