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Residential landlords – your first New Year’s resolution: do you know your EPC rating?

If you are a Landlord of privately rented property, and have never looked at the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)  for your property, then now is the time to do so. Particularly if you are one of the estimated 280,000 domestic private rented properties in England and Wales with an EPC rating of Band F or G.

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/962) (MEES Regulations 2015) (oh yes it’s a mouthful) provides two key measures to improve energy efficiency in private rented properties, which are:

  • A right for a tenant of a domestic private rented property to make energy efficiency improvements, which has been available from 2016, probably without any such tenants being aware of it.
  • A requirement that a landlord ensure their domestic and non-domestic private rented property reaches minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES), which take effect in two phases starting in April 2018. Private landlords must ensure their properties meet a MEES of EPC Band E, or get as close to it as is possible. This is on a “no cost to landlord” basis using third party  “pay-as-you-save” (Green Deal) funding, grant funding, or subsidy.

The current “no cost to landlord” principle provides that where funding is not available to fully cover the cost of making a recommended improvement then the landlord will not be required to make that improvement to the property. However, the landlord will still need to register an exemption on the National Private Rented Sector Exemptions Register.

This should affect less than an estimated 6% of the overall domestic rental market, but the government is looking at how to make the regulations more effective.

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