Tue 20 Mar 2018
With the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards being introduced in less than 2 weeks' time, is your rental property up to standards? If not, you could be faced with a £4000 fine
According to a recent survey by specialist insurance firm Just Landlord, only 4% of landlords and tenants are aware of new legislation being introduced on April 1st 2018.
Properties which are newly let or up for renewal will be required to have an Energy Efficiency Rating of E or above. It will be against the law to rent out a property with an Energy Efficiency Rating of F or G. Any landlord renting out a property that is not up to the legal standard could face a fine of £4000.
IMPORTANT: It is worth noting that the same rule will apply to existing tenancies, not just new lets and renewals, from April 1st 2020 (some exceptions will apply, still to be confirmed).
There are very few exemptions, for example, currently Listed Buildings aren't required to have an EPC.
Tracey Glenn, Lettings Director at John German Estate Agents comments: "For the past year we have been advising our landlords to upgrade their EPC so it hits the minimum E grading. It makes sense to do it at the earliest opportunity rather than leaving it until the regulations kick in and the tenancy renews. Therefore we know that all our properties comply already.
For this past month though, with new instructions, we have had various scenarios. We were instructed to let a beautiful three bedroom cottage (not listed) with an EPC Rating F, and despite every attempt possible between the Landlord and the EPC Assessor it WILL NOT get better than an F. Fortunately, the tenant wants to move in on March 30th so we will just hit the cut off date and at the same time we have applied for an exemption – which will hopefully come through well in time for the renewal."
Tracey continues: "Another case is of an investment landlord buying a property with an F grading on a Buy To Let mortgage. He was completely unaware that as of April 1st he wouldn't be able to rent it out and no one had told him otherwise. Both his lender and solicitor had not picked up and mentioned the new EPC regulations. Fortunately, it will only cost around £700 for this particular property to get an E rating – but it is scary that an experienced portfolio landlord can get to the end of his buying process without knowing something so important."
How to find out what your property's EPC rating is?With the clock ticking it is important to find out what your property's existing energy rating is. By law, landlords who are currently renting out a property, should already have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If you have had one carried out, you can find out the rating online by visiting the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government's EPC Register and retrieve a copy of the EPC via searching the property's address.
Any landlords who use John German are able to check their EPC rating and the date it expires by logging into My Property File
"John German, Ashbourne, are excellent. Very professional, very reliable and thoroughly friendly people to work with. Their judgements were always sensible and realistic, and their contact with us and everyone else involved in the house sale was always timely and comprehensive. We thoroughly recommend them."