The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) Regulations 2015 introduced from 1st April 2018 states that properties having a new tenancy would require an EPC rating of ’E’ or above. As from 1st April 2020 existing tenancies will need to comply unless a valid exemption has been registered. However, this applies to properties which are legally required to have an EPC with tenancies commencing from 1st October 2008. Any tenancies starting prior to that date and have not been renewed are not legally required to have an EPC. Houses of Multiple Occupation let on an individual room basis (separate agreements) are not required to have an EPC. Those on a joint agreement will, because the property is rented as a whole.
Landlord funding element
Those properties below an ‘E’ rating must have work carried out up to £3500 or obtain third-party funding to meet the costs. The £3500 cap is an upper ceiling, not a target or a spend requirement and if a landlord can improve their property to ‘E’ or higher then they will have met their obligation.
If the cost of the energy efficiency measures required to improve a property to a rating of at least an ‘E’ would cause a landlord to exceed the £3,500 cap, the landlord can register an exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register. The exemption applies for 5 years from when registered and when it expires the landlord would need to try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to meet the minimum level of energy efficiency.
These, plus properties within a conservation area will not be required to meet the minimum energy standards if any improvements would adversely affect the listing with unacceptable alterations. However, if for example light bulbs could be replaced and the loft better insulated then these works could be carried out otherwise the property would be listed as a valid exemption.
The landlord would need to show that reasonable efforts have been made to obtain consent from the tenant. In the case of a Local Authority Planning Department a refusal would exempt the landlord from carrying out the necessary work. In cases where a tenant withholds consent a landlord would have to demonstrate that adequate attempts had been made. Where consent is not granted for improvements then an exemption may be registered. You can view an EPC on the website www.epcregister.com It can be searched for by postcode or the EPC report reference number.
The following is a list of key improvements that can help to improve your EPC rating:
- Replacing windows with double glazing
- Insulating the loft, walls floors with high quality insulation
- Replace your boiler with a newer, more efficient model
- Upgrading all lights bulbs to LED light bulbs rather than traditional bulbs
- Installing low-flush toilets and water-saving showers
- Replacing older appliances with newer models that come with ‘eco’ or ‘energy saving’ modes.