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February 27, 2019

Ashford Landlords – Does Your Property Meet EPC Standards?

These are challenging times to be a landlord. Even though there is a prominent level of demand for rental property, meeting the needs and expectations of tenants can be highly challenging. There is also the fact that landlords have to keep up to date with a  range of changing regulations. Many landlords are struggling to ensure they and their property fully complies with all relevant regulations.

An example of the issues that landlords have to face can be seen with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, of MEES. This came into effect in April of 2018 where are all new tenancies were required to hold an EPC rating of an E or better. By April of 2020, all tenancies, including renewals, must hold an EPC rating of at least an E. With this forthcoming change being applied to all tenancies, all landlords must be aware of this regulation, even if it hasn’t applied to them yet.

A landlord can be fined for not complying with EPC standards

While it is important for landlords to provide the best possible service to their tenants, there are fines in place for landlords who fail to comply with these EPC standards. A landlord could be fined up to £4,000 of their rental property doesn’t meet the minimum standards.

The certificate lasts for a period of ten years, so once a landlord has it in place, they can relax for a while. Unless major renovation work is carried out at the property, there is no need to update the certificate unless the landlord decides they want to. If home improvements have been carried out and the landlord believes that the energy efficiency rating of the home has improved, they may decide to arrange a test to have this verified.

There are many reasons why a landlord would look to carry out energy efficiency improvements and then tell the world about it. An energy efficient home is likely to hold greater value and the associated energy bills of these homes should be lower. Therefore, there is an argument that landlords will be able to charge a higher rental fee if they can prove their property holds a higher energy rating. In the long-term, the cost and inconvenience of energy efficiency improvements can be of great benefit to a landlord.

Landlords can benefit from carrying out energy efficiency improvements

There are many areas where energy efficiency improvements can be carried out but the most common home improvements for energy efficiency are:

·        Adding or installing cavity wall insulation

·        Installing low energy lighting around the property

·        Using thermostatic valves on all radiators

·        Ensuring the loft is fully insulated

·        Installing double glazing windows or improving double glazing windows

These options should be a suitable for a wide range of budgets and requirements. However, there has been a change for landlords to contend with when it comes to energy efficiency improvements. Initially, there was funding support for landlords and if a landlord was unable to make improvements without bearing any cost, they were exempt from the regulations.

This is no longer the case. Landlords are now required to pay up to £3,500 to ensure that their rental property meets the MEES regulations. With the regulation changing in 2020 to cover all rental tenancies, it is vital that landlords ensure they fully comply with these regulations.

If you are a landlord in Ashford and you need help in complying with regulations, we are here to help. Get in touch with Stevens and Co and we will be more than happy to assist you.

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