EPC regulations now apply to all let properties as the government pursues minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rental sector.
The second key deadline for EPCs for rental properties has passed. If you let a property it must have a valid EPC rated E or better, even if the same tenants are in residence.
Under the 2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations1, landlords were faced with civil and criminal penalties for signing a new tenancy, or renewing an existing tenancy, without an EPC rated from 1st April 2018. On 1st April 2020, the same rules were extended to all tenancies.
Landlords need to get a new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) certificate every ten years. There are fines of up to £5,000 per property for landlords that are found in breach of the legislation.
What are the most recent EPC changes?
Between April 2018 and April 2020, if a rolling tenancy contract was in place, the rules didn’t suddenly apply to your tenancy. Even if the last rating was below an E, it was allowable as long as the tenancy wasn’t renewed and was running on as a periodic tenancy.
All that changed n April 2020 when the new minimum energy efficiency standards were applied to all existing lets as well. From this point, an EPC rating of an E or above is required to let your property at all.
Even if your tenancy is already underway and you have no plans to renew, since 1st April 2020, you have needed to have an EPC rating of E or above or you could face fines.
If your last EPC rating was below an E, the first thing to do is to get an up-to-date EPC carried out. The report will tell you if you need to make efficiency improvements to boost your rating before you let it out or renew your contract on a property.
It will also have a table of recommended measures for improving your property’s energy efficiency performance, with indicative costs. These can range from increasing insulation to changing windows and heaters.
The recommendations in the table are cumulative. In other words, the rating in the ‘Rating After Improvement’ column shows you what the rating would be if you carried out that improvement and all the improvements above it in the table. So you can plan and priorities to carry out enough of these measures to improve your score to above an E rating.
Speak to your EPC assessor if you are unsure about how to proceed with improvements. After the energy efficiency changes have been made to the property you will need to get another EPC to show the new energy rating.
Are you properly insured?
Let property and landlords will have specific buildings insurance needs. Check our guide2 to make sure you have everything covered.
Reviewed 28 February 2022
The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Deacon accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.