How energy efficient is your rental home?
On 1st April 2020, new rules on energy efficiency were rolled out. Since 2018, minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) have been in force for new tenancies in England and Wales. The regulations outlaw new tenancy agreements on properties with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E - unless the property is exempt. But from April 2020, the MEES regulations will apply to all rental properties and it will become illegal to rent out any home with an existing or continuing tenancy that fails to meet the minimum required energy rating. Here are five ways that you can improve the energy efficiency of your property:
· Replace old, inefficient boilers
· Insulate around doors and windows and inside loft spaces
· Install double-glazing
· Replace all light bulbs with LEDs
· Install radiator thermostats and smart meters
With effect from 1 April, F or G ratings are not acceptable and these properties are considered “sub-standard” under the regulations Some properties are exempted if the landlord can prove that undertaking the relevant energy efficiency improvements would reduce the market value of the property by more than 5%, or that the cost of buying and installing the cheapest recommended improvement is more than £3,500.
Also, in specified circumstances, new landlords buying a sub-standard property with a sitting tenant may be exempt for a certain period. Exemptions are available if a landlord needs the consent of a third party to carry out relevant improvement works, but can’t get that consent. Also, if one of the recommended wall insulation systems cannot or should not be installed on a property, even though the cost does not exceed £3,500. If a landlord thinks one of these exemptions applies, it must be registered on the Private Rented Sector Exemptions Register, together with supporting evidence.
Luckily for renters, their tenancy will still be valid even if the property they are renting is now classed as sub-standard under the new rules. They will not need to move out, but their landlord is obliged to bring the property up to standard.
The MEES regulations are not such good news for landlords. They could find themselves facing enforcement action by their local authority and fines of as much as £150,000 if their rental property is found not to comply. The smart money is on the Government raising the bar again in a few years and property pundits think C is likely to be set as the minimum EPC rating by 2030 So if landlords have work to do on their rental homes, it’s well worth installing energy-efficient appliances, replacing those draughty doors and windows, and upgrading insulation to ensure properties achieve a C rating now.
If in doubt, check with your local authority. Click here to read the regulations in full. To ensure your rental property is compliant with these and all other legal requirements that impact landlords, why not sign up for our free lettings app PlanetRent today? It’s quick and easy and takes the pain out of compliance.
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