Landlords have faced many changes to regulations in recent years, and it looks as though 2018 will be another big year when it comes to administrative matters. In April of 2018, there will be a change to the quality and condition of properties that can be used for new lets and renewed lets. These changes relate to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and landlords will have to ensure their property complies with Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations.
As of April 2018, all new or renewed lets will have to hold an EPC rating of an E or higher. Any landlord that fails to comply with this regulation could face a fine up to a level of £5,000. There will be a further change in April of 2020 when all rental accommodation, even for existing lets, will have to hold a rating of at least an E with respect to EPC.
It is often difficult for landlords to justify making big changes to their property but there are many reasons to consider these changes. Clearly the threat of a penalty for not complying with the regulation is the main issue. However, in providing a good standard of service, there are many reasons why a landlord should look to ensure their property is of a high standard with respect to EPC rankings.
Research suggests that a home with a G rating in the EPC requires an average spend of £2,680 in energy bills on an annual basis. A home with an E rating requires an average spend of £1,710 in energy bills every year. This means that upgrading a home from a G rating to an E rating can save the tenant more than £1,000 each year. This is great news for a tenant, and it is one that will leave them happier in the home and more likely to stay in the property.
Therefore, this is great news for a landlord. If you can minimise the likelihood of void periods and provide a service that makes tenants happy, you can be confident about developing a strong reputation and bringing in a consistent level of money.
If you are a landlord that is not sure if you will meet this rating, you may be interested to know in the exemptions that are available. The exemptions include:
· Where all possible improvements have been made to a property yet the home is still ranked as an F or a G
· When an external party has to provide agreement for work to be undertaken and this has been denied
· If the work would lower the value of property by at least 5%
· If the work can only be undertaken at a cost to the landlord
There are grants and support available for landlords on this matter, so it is not as if a landlord should feel as though this will be an expensive time for them. The focus is on raising the standard of rental property in the UK, and complying with environmental issues, as opposed to being another thing to pursue landlords with.
Landlords have faced difficult times of late and this change as of April 2018 means that there is still a lot of work to do in the months and years ahead. However, there is a great deal of support and help available for landlords and if you need any guidance, please come and speak to Gareth James.