Guide on EPCs for Landlords

If you’re a private landlord renting property in the UK, there have been recent changes to the energy efficiency standards for rental properties which you must comply with very soon.

If you believe you have to make changes to meet the minimum energy efficiency standards for April 2018, get in touch with Falcon Energy on 01403 253439.

What are the energy efficiency standards?

As a landlord, you must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your rental property. This looks at the energy efficiency of your property and gives it an A to G rating; A being the most energy efficient and G the least.

Your property must be reassessed and a new EPC issued every 10 years. From April 2018, the EPC for a rental property must carry a rating of E or above. This is with immediate effect from 1st April and applies to new and existing tenancies.

What happens if my property has an EPC lower than E?

If your property has an EPC rating of F or G then you need to take steps to increase the energy efficiency of your property to an E rating. The Local Authority is responsible for ensuring rental properties meet the required standard. Those which do not could be considered unfit for rental and you may be required to stop letting the property until standards are raised.

From April 2020 you will not be allowed to rent your property under any circumstances if the rating is lower than an E, even if you already have tenants under contract letting the property.

How could I make my property more efficient?

Once you obtain an EPC report, the results produced for your property should make recommendations for improvements to increase the energy efficiency of your rental property.

These recommendations may include:

  • Installing a new, more efficient boiler.
  • Increasing the amount of insulation in the loft of the property if it has one.
  • Adding cavity wall insulation if the property has cavity walls.
  • Installing double glazing to keep heat inside the property.
  • Adding insulation to the hot water cylinder.
  • Insulating pipework and fitting draft proofing.
  • Replacing old light fittings and bulbs with energy efficient alternatives.

Are there any exemptions?

Under certain circumstances you may be able to apply to your Local Authority for an exemption for your rental property. It is worth noting that exemptions are only valid for 5 years and will be reviewed.

The exemptions include:

If you have implemented all the changes you possibly can but the rating is still lower than E.
If consent from a third party has been denied, e.g. by your mortgage lender or your tenant.
If the changes would devalue the property by 5% or more.

What are the risks of non compliance?

You could be fined up to £5,000 if your property does not meet the required standards. Fines are based on a scale as follows:

  • Providing false or misleading information to the PRS Exemptions Register: £1,000
  • Failing to comply with a Local Authority compliance notice: £2,000
  • Letting a non-compliant property for less than three months: £4,000
  • Letting a non-compliant property for more than three months: £5,000

It’s important to ensure your property is meeting the required standard, not just to avoid paying a fine. Tenants are becoming increasingly aware of energy efficiency, particularly as it can impact the household bills they need to pay as part of their occupancy.

If you have any questions about EPC compliance after 1st April 2018, please call us on 01403 253 439 or complete our online form.

Our experienced team can assess your property and certify it with a new rating if required. If your property falls below an E rating, we can create a plan to improve its efficiency to help you become legally compliant.

Posted in EPC's.