There are new changes coming into force for Landlords with regard to the EPC rating of a property.
As from the 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption. A civil penalty of up to £4,000 will be imposed for breaches.
Poor energy rating is classed as those EPCs with F and G ratings
There are separate regulations effective from 1st April 2016 under which a tenant can apply for consent to carry out energy efficiency improvements in privately rented properties. Click here for this Guide.
SurreyLets like all letting agents need to have a copy of the properties EPC to market a property. These new guidelines will start affecting rental values. Sally Asling, Lettings director at SurreyLets states “Its clear that over time the rentable value of the property will be affected by the EPC rating. We are not there yet, but as consumers become more aware of impact of the EPC rating, lower rated properties will find tenants negotiating on the rental to compensate them the difference in energy savings that a higher rated property would provide”
The Regulations apply to domestic private rented sector properties in England and Wales to all properties let on an AST agreement (Assured Shorthold Agreement)
Prohibition on letting
A domestic private rented sector property is substandard if the EPC rating is F or G, unless an exemption applies. The legislation prohibits a landlord from letting out a substandard property. If there is an EPC in place which shows that the property is an F or G then it must not be let; otherwise the landlord is liable to penalties. This is subject to any available exemptions. Energy efficiency improvements must be carried out to bring the property up to an E rating at the minimum, unless one of the exemptions is applicable.
If a landlord lets and continues to let the property in breach of the regulations, however, the breach does not affect the validity or legality of the tenancy itself, so the rent still continues to be payable.
So what does SurreyLets suggest you do to get the best EPC on your property?
- Replace any non-double glazed windows and or old sealed units with modern A rated windows The rating doesn’t matter unless you have a document showing the “U-value.’ If they are good new windows have a document showing the U-value rating ready for the assessor. Otherwise if the windows have a datestamp on them telling saying they are post or during 2003 they will get a good rating. Secondary glazed is obviously better than sing glazed also, which is what may need to get done in conservation areas where your not allowed to upgrade the windows
- Fit seals to external doors to help keep the chill out, change any wooden doors with new PVCu doors (Again keep the u-value information to show the assessor) also note that if the door is more than 60% glazed it won’t count as it will just go down as a window.
- Fit a decent jacket around your hot water tank or replace with a fully lagged tank -Spot on. The maximum the assessor can record is 160mm of insulation around the tank, makes a small difference.
- Ensure that lofts and wall cavities are insulated to at least the latest standard of 270mm
- If replacing your boiler is getting old plan to replace and fit to an energy efficient, condensing boiler.
- Fit TRV (Thermostatic Rad Valves) to all radiators
- Fit zone thermostats
- Change old style electric storage heaters (if fitted) with the latest fan assisted heaters which have significantly better energy rating (although electricity for heating will always have a very negative effect on your EPC. Oil, LPG and Mains gas always are better.)
- Get cavity wall insulation installed or get dry lining with insulation (keep the proof you have had it done by invoice
- Use energy saving light bulbs such as LEDs.
From 1 April 2018, the regulations will apply on the granting of:
A new tenancy to a new tenant
A new tenancy to an existing tenant, i.e. any extension or renewal to an existing tenant. This includes a statutory periodic tenancy which comes into existence at the end of the fixed term shorthold.
From 1 April 2020, the regulations will apply to all privately rented property in scope of the regulations.
Local authorities will enforce compliance with the regulations.
For more information about how the new EPC regulations will affect you as a Landlord, or for more information regarding renting your property, please contact the Specialist Letting Team in Surrey at SurreyLets on 01483 282470