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Landlords: Don’t bury your heads about EPC

What proved to be a ‘taxing’ 2017 for private landlords could prove even more costly this year unless they act now. If you haven’t already considered the new EPC legislation, now’s the time.

 

Under new legislation which comes into play on 1st April, there will be a requirement for any properties leased out in the private rented sector to adhere to strict minimum energy efficiency standards.

 

Only the minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will be acceptable for both new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020.

 

As such, it will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, and civil penalties of up to £4,000 will be imposed for breaches.

 

While landlords may be aware of their legislative duties, all too many are burying their heads as to the actions they need to take to improve the energy efficiency of their properties – many because they don’t feel confident with the knowledge they have to do so and others fearing the high costs this may represent.

 

Instead of seeing compliance as another headache, we are urging landlords to flip this on its head and see it as a positive, as there are huge benefits to be realised by making their properties more energy efficient:

 

  1. Tenants will often be willing to pay more for properties that are energy efficient, recognising the cost savings they can make on their utility bills.
  2. Ensuring adequate insulation can have huge impact on energy bills. Insulated walls and double-glazed windows stop heat escaping and, as such, help reduce energy costs.
  3. Renewable energy sources such as solar PV and energy efficient alternatives to energy guzzling products such as lightbulbs, are proving to be the fastest and most cost-effective way to reduce energy consumption, typically repaying the investment, through reduced energy consumption, within 1 to 2 years.
  4. Most energy efficiency projects required to meet the standards offer payback within three years; often less.
  5. Now is the perfect time for landlords to check existing bills and ensure they are being billed correctly. Changes to supply capacity will also apply from April, so now is the time to ensure correct billing moving forwards.