EPC Updates – Now Is The Time To Act

5th March 2019 posted in Landlords

There are many regulations and pieces of legislation for landlords to contend with. With new legislation being applied regularly and existing legislation being amended or updated, it is vital that landlords seek support in ensuring they are fully compliant with all regulations regarding their home.

At Hunters Forest Hill, we know that landlords have a lot to consider and the EPC regulations have been a major issue to some landlords. There are updates coming to this piece of legislation, so we believe now is a suitable time to ensure you are up to date with current legislation and to be aware of changes that are coming soon.

Current legislation surrounding EPC and MEES

On the 1st of April 2018, rental properties were required to have an energy performance rating of an E or better on their EPC. This legislation was put in place for all new lets and tenancy renewals which occurred after the 1st of April 2018. From the 1st of April 2020, this legislation will apply to all tenancies, including existing tenancies.

Unless the rental property is suitable for an exemption, a civil penalty of up to £4,000 could be imposed for any breaches of this legislation.

Given that this legislation will apply to all tenancies as of the 1st of April 2020, it is important landlords start to ensure their rental accommodation is in suitable condition. With just over a year until the legislation applies to all tenancies, it would be sensible for landlords to review the condition of their property and make any changes as soon as possible.

What has changed with respect to EPC regulations?

It has been announced that in order to improve the energy efficiency rating of rental property, the Government expects landlords who have a property holding an F or G rating to pay up to £3,500 for improvements.

To this point, there has been support for landlords whose properties haven’t met the minimum requirements of MEES. However this covering of the cost will be removed, and it is important landlords know what their property EPC rating is and whether they will be affected by this change.

The majority of landlords will not be affected by these changes as many homes are already compliant with the MEES requirements. It is believed that the average cost of improving a home from an F or G rating to an E rating is £1,200. This is a sum that is below the upper ceiling found in the new legislation, which means any landlord required to make these improvements will need to pay for the improvements.

Examples of improvements which would improve a home’s EPC rating include

·        Floor insulation

·        Loft insulation

·        Low energy lighting

If the required improvements cost more than £3,500; landlords would be able to register for an exemption from the regulation.

David Smith is the Policy Director at the RLA and he released a statement saying; “The proportion of private rented homes with the worst energy efficiency ratings of F or G has fallen from 39% in 1996 to 7% in 2016. Whilst good news, we should seek to ensure every private rented property is as energy efficient as possible. To help achieve this, the RLA produced recommendations for the Budget, which were ignored, that any work a landlord carries out that is recommended on an Energy Performance Certificate should be tax deductible.”

If you are concerned about the EPC rating of your rental home, or you need guidance when it comes to the latest and pending legislation relating to your rental property, get in touch. At Hunters Forest Hill, we aim to provide local landlords with support and guidance all year round.