Landlords Beware - Continuing Changes to EPC Regulations!

Being a landlord comes with responsibility to ensure your tenants are living safely. One such responsibility which is seemingly subject to ever tightening regulations, is getting an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property.

Energy Performance Certificate

Guest blog from David Amies at Ridley and Hall Solicitors

Being a landlord comes with responsibility to ensure your tenants are living safely. One such responsibility which is seemingly subject to ever tightening regulations, is getting an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property.

Nearly all properties which have been sold or let have been required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) around 10 years - however, prior to 1st April 2018, it has been a matter for a buyer or tenant as to whether they are concerned by its findings (and in this firm's experience, most buyers have not concerned themselves with the performance of the property). Properties are banded from A (best) to G (worst). Residential certificates are in two parts – impact rating and energy efficiency.

On 1st April 2018, strict new regulations came in to force making it a criminal offence for a Landlord to create any new residential or commercial property tenancy where the property fails to meet minimum energy efficiency standards. It became a criminal offence to let properties falling within bands F and G, subject to certain very limited exceptions.

Further changes were implemented from 1st April 2019, which have seen landlords becoming liable of up to £3,500 to bring F and G rated properties up to the minimum EPC rating of E, again subject to extremely limited exceptions.

The changes don't stop there, as from 1st April 2020, the minimum level E will apply to all tenancies, even those that are already existing.

We can see an upward trend in the number of EPCs for non-domestic properties being lodged. For instance, during January to March 2019, 24,000 EPCs were lodged, which is a 10% increase compared with the corresponding quarter in 2018. Similarly, the same period saw 396,000 EPCs being lodged in respect of domestic property sales, lettings and new dwellings, which represents a 32% increase on the same quarter last year. No doubt that this spike is down to the stringent new EPC regulations.

Statistics from the last quarter show that 75% of existing properties were rated either C or D, whilst new properties were found to be more energy efficient, with 82% of them been rated A or B.

Even if you do not intend to let your property, you should be mindful of your property's EPC rating as it may affect future saleability and value – whilst it is not the government's stated intention, there is obviously a risk that the government will seek to improve the efficiency of housing and commercial property stock by further reducing the banding of acceptable properties.

If you are concerned about the implications of the new regulations, then please contact David Amies at Ridley and Hall Solicitors to discuss further on 01484 538421.

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