As most landlords will now be aware – changes to the legislation around Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and privately rented property will see a drastic change from 1st April 2018. While previously an EPC was required to be available to tenants, after the changes the law will state that every UK rental property must have an energy efficiency rating of at least an E.
Applying to all new tenancies or existing tenancies which are being renewed from April onwards, failure to comply with new rules could mean up to a £5000 penalty for landlords who don’t comply, so it’s worth making sure that you understand the changes.
What are the changes to EPC Legislation?
The current legislation states that all properties for sale or rent in the UK are required to have an EPC which gives details of the property’s energy efficiency. However, up until now, although it has to be made available to potential tenants, there was no minimum rating requirement. EPC ratings go from A – G – with A being the most energy efficient. After the changes on the 1st April, rented properties will be required to meet at least an E rating when a new tenancy is granted, or an existing tenancy extended or renewed (including the entering of a periodic tenancy after a term has ended).
Furthermore, from 1st April 2020, the minimum requirement will also apply to continuing tenancies, even if a new tenancy has not been granted.
Therefore it is wise that landlords who own a property where the EPC rating is an F or G start to look at ways to make improvements now, before running the risk of penalties.
What does this mean for HMO landlords?
The regulations apply to HMO landlords. Generally speaking, most HMO owners will have an EPC for the house in which any individual rooms are let (whether on a shared or individual basis). For landlords of student property, this will mean ensuring that the EPC rating for the property is rated as an E or above.
How Can I Improve my EPC Rating?
It’s worth taking a look at the report provided to get an idea of any particular areas of concern – such as old appliances, non insulated areas and of course your boiler and heating system. In some instances, additions of heating controls such as modern thermostats can assist to raise EPC ratings. Do think about cavity wall insulation, and where needed loft insulation.
As an HMO owner, you may well offer all inclusive bills to your tenants, so these changes will not just mean that you comply with the law, but should also see a reduction in energy bills.
How Can Student Haus Help Me?
As student HMO lettings and management experts, Student Haus can assist with arranging an EPC and even suggest and organise contractors for improvements where needed (FM properties only). Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.