EPC Changes – April 2018
As it currently stands each property to rent or for sale across the UK is required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that outlines its energy performance. Landlords are legally required to obtain an EPC of their rental property every 10 years, whether it is let or unlet. If a landlords decides to voluntarily gain a new EPC for a property within the 10 year period and then this new EPC will become the current one for the property, replacing the earlier one. The EPC shows the Energy Efficiency Rating of the property in bands A-G; A being the most energy efficient and G being the least. At present, there is no minimum energy efficiency requirement.
What’s changed in April 2018?
From April 2018, there have been some notable changes made to the minimum (EPC) rating requirements for rental properties in the United Kingdom. The new law requires that every rental property with a new tenancy or an existing tenancy that is being renewed or extended from April must have an energy efficiency rating of at least E or above.
Any property with a rating of F or G will be deemed unfit for rental and appropriate measures will need to be taken to improve the energy rating to the minimum E rating.
How to improve your property energy rating
Below is a small list of improvements that could help increase the EPC rating in order to gain a grade E or above:
- Top up your loft insulation – This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve your EPC rating is by making sure the loft insulations 270mm thick.
- Cavity wall insulation – If you have cavity walls, make sure they are insulated.
- Upgrade your heating – The heating system is one of the key factors in the EPC. If you have an old boiler, think about replacing for a newer model.
- Glazing – Replace single glazed windows, with new double glazing.
- Seal open chimneys – Open fires and draughty chimneys actually make some difference to the EPC rating. If possible, block these up permanently, or install a closed heater in the opening.
- Lighting and draught proofing – Adding draught proofing and changing your lights over to energy efficient versions can make a small difference
While tenants will benefit in terms of reduced energy bill spend, or through increased warmth and the associated health benefits, energy efficiency improvements also benefit landlords. When the Regulations were being designed, a number of landlords associations identified a range of benefits for landlords including increased tenant satisfaction and reduced void periods; reduced long-term property maintenance costs; and making properties more attractive and easier to let.
What will happen if the energy rating is below E?
Where a local authority suspects that a landlord with a property in scope of the regulations is not compliant, or has not sufficiently proved an exemption, the local authority can serve a compliance notice on the landlord requesting further information it considers necessary to confirm compliance. If it is not provided, or is provided and is not sufficient to provide compliance, the local authority may proceed to issuing a large penalty notice.
There are certain exemptions to this new legal change, such as:
- If the landlord cannot afford to carry out any improvement works
- The landlord cannot get consent to carry out the works either from the tenant, mortgage lender or superior landlord
- The improvement works will devalue the property by 5% or more
- If the relevant improvement works have been carried out but the energy rating remains under a rating of E
It’s also important to note that from April 2020, landlords will not be allowed to rent their property at all if the energy rating is F or G, even if there are tenants inside the property and in their contract.
Let’s Move can help
If you require an EPC for your property or you’re wondering if there’s anything else you can do to improve your EPC rating, our team at Let’s Move can help. We can quote you on the work that may need carrying out to achieve an EPC grade E or above and carry out an EPC from as little as £70.
If You Need an EPC in Hull or a quotation for works required – Contact Let’s Move