• Maxim Cohen

Impact of 2018 EPC Regulation Changes?

Even though landlords have had plenty of changes and new regulations to contend with in recent times, it doesn’t look as though things are going to become any easier in 2018. In fact, as of the 1st of April 2018, there is going to be a big change to the condition that some properties will be allowed to be in for a let. Landlords will have to comply with Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations and focus will face on EPC ratings of the property.

From April of next year, landlords will have to ensure that properties for a new let or a renewed let carry an EPC rating of least an E[1]. Any landlord found to be letting property that doesn’t comply with these regulations may face a civil penalty, which could be a notable fine. By April of 2020, this minimum energy efficiency rating of an E will apply to all let property, including existing lets.


There are valid reasons for the change in regulations

This move is being introduced in an attempt to improve the standard of rental accommodation. However, you can see why some landlords view this as an attack on them, and it is not the first time that landlords have been targeted in recent times.

Then again, it is clear to see that landlords and tenants can benefit from improving the energy efficiency rating of a property. It has been found that improving the energy efficiency rating of a property from a G rating to an E rating can save over £1,000 in annual energy bills. This is definitely something that will please a tenant and it may convince the tenant to stay in the property for longer. This is good news for the landlord as it can minimise their void periods and it can help to reduce the time and money they have to spend on filling their property.



Landlords should also benefit from these changes

The landlord should also be able to benefit by improving the value of their property. It is also likely that a landlord can justify increasing the cost of rent at the property, which is likely to appeal to many landlords.

A landlord may think that this isn’t something that benefits them, it would benefit the tenant, but this would be a very short term approach. When a tenant is happy in a home, they will be more likely to extend their stay.

Of course, there will be some landlords who would prefer not to make any changes to their home. This is why the availability of exemptions will be of interest to some of these landlords, with exemptions available when:

· Any work carried out would have a negative impact on the property

· If the landlord cannot obtain funding from local authority grants, from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) or Green Deal Finance

· When permission needs to be obtained from an external party and it has been denied

· An independent professional determines that carrying out the work will lead to the value of the property decreasing by at least 5%

· All available improvements can be made and the property still holds less than an E EPC rating

There is funding and grants available for landlords to carry out improvement work, and it has been emphasised that this isn’t a move that is intended to see landlords financially worse off. If you are looking for assistance in obtaining a grant or funding, you will be pleased to know that UK Adviser can arrange grants for improvements at a reduced rate, and in some circumstances, we can help you arrange free support.

However, one of the most important issues you need to bear in mind is that banks are not going to lend against properties that are rated F or G with respect to EPC.

If you are a landlord and you would like guidance on complying with these regulations, arrange an appointment and we will be more than happy to help.

[1] https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/minimum-energy-efficiency-standards.shtml

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