EPC Regulation Changes 2018
It is important that landlords remain up to date with the latest regulations that impact on their ability to work and make a profit. There have been many regulatory changes for landlords and rental accommodation in recent years but there will be another notable change in April of 2018. This change relates to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of the rental property. There is a need for landlords to ensure the property complies with Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard regulations, or MEES, and this may leave some properties requiring a lot of work.
From April 2018, there is a requirement for all properties involved with a new let or a renewed let to hold an E EPC rating or higher. Landlords who fail to comply with this new regulation could face a fine of up to £5,000. As of April 2018, all rental accommodation will have to hold an EPC rating of at least an E.
There is a desire to improve the standards of rental accommodation
There is a move to improve the quality of rental accommodation and landlords and tenants will benefit from the property being of a higher standard with respect to energy efficiency. Studies indicate that a home which has an EPC rating of G costs on average £2,680 in energy bills each year while a home which holds an EPC rating of E has average costs of £1,710. This means that the tenant can save over £1,000 in energy bills each year, which is definitely good news.
A landlord can benefit from having happier tenants who are likely to stay longer and of course, the better condition a home is in, the higher the value it should hold. Given that both the tenant and landlord can benefit from complying with these changes, there should be universal approval at work being carried out, even if there is short inconvenience for the parties involved.
Landlords may be able to obtain an exemption for their property
As you may expect, there are some exemptions to this regulation. A house which has an EPC rating of less than an E may be considered suitable for a new lease if:
- All impossible improvements have been undertaken but the home is still classed as less than an E
- If any improvement work would lower the value of the property by a minimum of 5%
- If the work can only be carried out at a cost to the landlord
While there is a strong level of interest in improving the standard of rental accommodation in the UK, there is no desire to see landlords punished financially for making these changes. There are a range of grants and funding options available for landlords, so hopefully these changes can be made at no extra cost to the landlord.
Given the amount of regulatory changes that landlords have had to comply with in recent times, it is no surprise if some landlords are unsure of what they need to do. Any landlord who is looking for guidance or assistance in providing a good standard of rental accommodation should come and speak to Austin Property Services.