The importance of having an accurate and up to date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has never been so crucial, particularly if you are a Landlord.
From April 2018, the UK Government are introducing the latest step in their attempt to raise the energy efficiency of the UKs rental stock. MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard) will impact both private and agency managed domestic property with a substantial fine of £5,000 for those Landlords who fail to take the necessary steps. Rental properties will be required to achieve a rating of Band E or above on their EPC. For many, this will not be an issue with the average UK property currently rated at Band D.
Should I be worried?
The simple answer is no. Aimed solely at property in Bands F and G, the legislation is being gradually phased in, initially only becoming applicable when you grant a new tenancy, either to a new or existing tenant. From April 2020, this legislation will affect ALL property.
What if my property is only Band F or G?
Poole Townsends team of experienced Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) will review your existing EPC and consider the recommendations set out in the document. Using their knowledge gained from producing thousands of EPCs, our DEAs can guide you to the next step. If your EPC is a few years old and narrowly falls short of Band E, you may simply require one of our DEAs to visit your property and produce an up to date EPC report. A much larger volume of data is gathered now during an assessment, therefore creating a more accurate rating, potentially pushing you above the required Band E. If your rating still falls short, the next stage is to look at the recommendations and maybe carry out some of the necessary improvements to your property.
£'s. Who pays?
The legislation, as it currently stands, simply indicates 'Landlords are not expected to upgrade their property if it incurs an upfront cost'. This is currently the subject of government consultation. Depending on the outcome, the landlord may be required to contribute towards the cost of upgrading, subject to a proposed cap of £2,500. This doesn’t mean you can get away with doing nothing because most things in life cost money. You must explore any grants/schemes that are available. Your own energy provider may be able to help and is a good place to start. The larger energy providers are required to set aside funds for energy saving improvements such as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and boiler scrappage etc.
Still not Band E or better. What do I do?
If you have explored the stages discussed above and have proof that you have made contact with schemes, installers, energy providers etc. then you have fulfilled your obligation as a Landlord. Some properties simply can't achieve a rating of E or better. This may be due to location, construction materials or fuels available.
Don't wait. Act now to avoid having your property left empty.
Contact your local Poole Townsend office to arrange contact by one of our Domestic Energy Assessors.