Landlords – are you compliant with new energy regulations?
With the introduction of new energy efficiency standards in rental properties now only weeks away, landlords must ensure they are compliant to avoid incurring significant financial penalties.
As of April 1, both domestic and commercial properties rented out in the private rental sector must have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). All new lets and tenancy renewals from 1 April are subject to the new regulations – this will be extended to cover all tenancies on April 1, 2020.
It is already a legal requirement for landlords to have an EPC for their property, and to provide a copy to the tenant. The Regulations extend landlords’ obligations.
Compliance with these new energy efficiency standards will be enforced by local authorities, and fixed penalties are in place for failure to adhere to the new regulations which can total as much as £5,000 (the minimum penalty for non-compliance is £1,000).
Recent estimates have suggested there are over 1 million properties in England and Wales – around six percent of all rental properties – which have an energy performance rating of F or G, which means that improvement is needed and a revised EPC must then be carried out.
If not already done, landlords must take steps to ensure properties which are let or subject to a tenancy renewal from April 1 are compliant with the new EPC rules. Energy efficiency improvement work should be undertaken as soon as possible – even for those landlords who are not affected by this year’s deadline, the new EPC rules will be uniform across all rental properties in two years, so necessary improvements should be planned sooner rather than later.
There are some instances in which exemptions can apply, but this applies in only a small amount of cases, such as when the cost of improvements will devalue the property by five percent or more, consent cannot be obtained (from the tenant, landlord or lender) for the work to be carried out, or the improvement measures are proved not to be cost effective.
But generally, the new EPC standards will apply to the vast majority of rental properties in England and Wales. Landlords need to ensure they adhere to the new requirements by the deadline that applies to them, the first one now being imminent.
For further advice on your legal position as a landlord with the new EPC requirements, please contact us at any time. For a checklist of other legally-required obligations for landlords, click here.
Lewis Couth is an Associate within the Dispute Resolution team at law firm Sintons, and is a specialist in landlord and tenant matters. To speak to Lewis, contact him on email@example.com or 0191 226 3653.