The government have a plan to hit zero net emissions by 2050, which is why EPC regulations are important.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating is used in England and Wales to judge a property’s energy efficiency from a scale of A to G. A = most efficient and G= least efficient. The benefit of a higher efficiency EPC rating is having lower energy bills and a better carbon footprint, which is appealing to both potential tenants and buyers of a property.
In respect to rented properties, the landlord must obtain a new EPC rating every ten years if it is marketed for sale or rent at that time. Currently, all rented properties in England and Wales must have an EPC rating of E or above.
However, the government have proposed the following changes:
All newly rented properties must have a minimum EPC rating of a C from 2025 and then all existing tenancies must follow suit by 2028. There is also the demand for homes to not have a rating less than an E by 1 April 2023, which is a pressing deadline.
The reason these changes need to be made is to meet the government’s net zero carbon targets. Following the change of minimum EPC rating for rented properties, the penalty amount has also changed £5,000 to £30,000 where the minimum standards have not been met. The government have set out a list of things that can be done in order to better the EPC rating at a property.
What can be done to increase the EPC rating at a property:
1. Install double glazed windows
2. Insulate the loft, walls and cavities
3. Increase ventilation in the property
4. Replace old appliances with energy-efficient A-rated models
5. Look into renewable technology such as solar panels or wind turbines
6. Switch to a more efficient energy supplier
7. Adjust your heating controls
8. Upgrade lighting fixtures to LED lighting throughout the property
9. Make sure all draughts are sealed around windows and doors
10. Invest in smart thermostats
How much will it cost?
A downside to the government wanting properties to have an EPC rating of C is it will be an expensive change for landlords. Especially with no plan for there to be financial support. Although landlord associations and regulatory bodies are coming together to call for support financially, it appears that landlords will need to put a good deal of money towards improving the properties’ energy efficiency and some landlords may just cash out on properties which then leaves fewer properties on the market available to be rented. Though if many standalone landlords sell properties, it gives landlords with multiple properties the opportunity to expand their portfolios and they will have the funding in order to make the changes needed to secure improved EPC ratings.
For advice and guidance, feel free to contact Woodstock Legal Services.