From the 1st April this year landlords will not be able to let properties or renew leases if their property has an EPC rating lower than an E. Diana Warr, residential expert in our Leeds office discusses the upcoming changes and actions that landlords can take to avoid penalty.
“Earlier this year it was estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 properties in England in Wales could be unlettable from April as they will fail to meet the new energy performance standards. The rules state that from April 2018 all new lets and tenancy renewals must meet the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) and from 2020 the rules will apply to all residential properties.
“Over the past few years we have come across a number of properties that would meet the MEES and would therefore become unlettable in just a few months. It would be wise for all landlords to check the EPC rating of their property to better understand the costs and benefits of improvement measures so that they are best placed to prevent a negative impact on the value of their property.
“The changes are obviously positive ones in the long run as they will encourage landlords to meet higher standards of energy efficiency but in the short term they could be an unwelcome hurdle. From April 2018 local authorities will be able to impose penalties of up to £4,000 for non-compliance on top of fining £200 for those with properties without a valid EPC. The largest cost to landlords could however be the loss of earnings while their property is legally unlettable.
“While this may all seem a bit doom and gloom it is not too late to act. The first step is to make sure that you have a valid EPC and then consult with a professional if your property doesn’t meet the required standards. Quite often there will be a few quick win energy efficiency changes that you can make that will ensure you don’t fall foul of the upcoming regulations.”
For more information about the upcoming regulation changes, what properties it will affect and how you can avoid any unwanted penalties please contact Diana Warr at our Wellington Street office on 0113 221 6017.