Changes affecting Energy Performance Certificates for residential lets
For some years now residential landlords have been required to obtain an energy performance certificate (EPC) relating to their property, and to provide this to their tenant at the start of the tenancy agreement.
An EPC sets out the energy efficiency of a property and provides it with a rating between A and G (A being highest and G being lowest).
On 1st April 2018 the minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) came into force in England and Wales. These standards set out the minimum energy efficiency required for a rental property. Up until now a rating of F or G has been ok. However, these regulations now make it unlawful for landlords to let a property which has a rating of F or G, unless the property is registered as an exemption. The standard applies to the grant of new tenancies, renewals and extensions and will apply to all buy to lets by 2020.
Compliance with these regulations is crucial as a breach could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £4,000, as well as the property being unlettable until it is brought up to a rating of E or above.
Some residential properties may require minor action to reach these improved ratings, but others will need substantial work.
In 2012 there were around 700,000 residential homes rated as F or G. However, more than 400,000 properties still fail to meet the new required standard.
The message to landlords of such properties is clear – if you have not upgraded your property, do so now or face the consequences.