UK landlords have been warned to be aware of the energy rating of their rental property, as it is just under a year until a minimum energy rating for buy to let properties is introduced.
From the 1st of April 2018, properties new to the private rental sector as well as tenancy renewals must have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The ruling will affect all existing tenancies on the 1st of April 2020.
Failure to comply with the minimum rating will lead to the landlord in question facing a fine of up to £4,000 imposed by Trading Standards. Their property will also be deemed substandard, and unfit to rent.
Landlords are therefore being urged to check their energy performance ratings and ensure that their properties comply with regulation.
Danielle Hughes, a solicitor at law firm Kirwans, voiced concerns that landlords may not be aware of the upcoming regulatory changes. She said: ‘I have serious concerns that many landlords may be completely unaware that their properties could fall below the new minimum legal requirements for energy efficiency standards in England and Wales.’
Whilst a late awareness may not be a significant issue for properties which do not need significant regeneration, others might require substantial work to be brought up to standard. She continued: ‘Planning now will also have the obvious benefits of spreading the cost and making sure that the relevant third party contractors are available to undertake any necessary work. before scheduling a visit from a domestic energy assessor, landlords should spend some time looking at the different methods of improving their property’s energy efficiency rating and chose which is right for them.’
There are however, a number of exceptions to the new ruling, including buildings which are protected as part of a designated environment or because of their architectural history. Temporary buildings with a planned timed use of two years or less are also exempt, as are standalone buildings with a usable floor area of under 50 square metres.