EPC laws - Minimum energy efficiency standards

Change is coming to the way the government handles Energy Performance Certificates.

The EPC ranks how energy efficient your property is on a scale from A-G, with an A being best. However, as of the 1st April this year, any new tenants or tenants who renew their lease have to be in properties with an E rating or above.

And from 1st April 2020, all properties have to meet this standard regardless.

What does this mean?

At present there is no set requirement for what work has to be done, just that it has to meet the E rating. Double-glazed windows and insulation are just two of the ways a property’s EPC rating can be improved.

Unless your property is applicable for an exemption, you could be charged £4,000 for not meeting the new rating.

There are some exemptions…

What are the exemptions?

  • If you have undertaken cost-effective improvements but it still remains below an E grade.
  • ‘Cost effective’ means the improvements could fall within the Green Deal’s Golden Rule, where the government can provide assistance to carry out the improvements. If you can’t get funding within the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Green Deal Finance or local authority grants you are exempt.
  • If the tenant withholds consent for work to be carried out.
  • If an independent surveyor finds the property will be devalued by more than 5% if measures are carried out to improve the property.
  • If wall insulation improvements would have a potential negative impact on the fabric or structure of the property or the building it is a part of.

What is The Letting Company doing about it?

Our first step was to double check the EPCs of all of the properties that we manage to ensure they are all E grade or above. Although we have another 2 years until the law comes in for existing tenancies, we are always keen to keep on top of legislation.

Fortunately the new law is quite generous as it is very unusual for a property to be an F or G rating. New builds tend to be A or B, older properties B or C and the oldest properties, such as Victorian terraced properties a D or E.

There is a list of recommendations to help improve the property’s rating. This has always just been advisor, but changes will have to be made from 1st April  2018 for new tenants and 1st April 2020 for all buildings or you face paying thousands.

Are you unsure if your property passes the new law? Why not give us a call - even if we don't manage your home - on 0845 838 2890 for more help. Don't forget to ask us about our referral scheme either...


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