Last week we blogged about the new electrical safety regulations that come into force on 1 July. Today we’re reminding landlords to put 1 April in their diaries too, because new rules on energy efficiency are being rolled out.
Since 2018, minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) have been in force for new tenancies in England and Wales. The regulations outlaw new tenancy agreements on properties with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E – unless the property is exempt. But from April this year, the MEES regulations will apply to all rental properties and it will become illegal to rent out any home with an existing or continuing tenancy that fails to meet the minimum required energy rating.
Here are five ways that you can improve the energy efficiency of your property:
- Replace old, inefficient boilers
- Insulate around doors and windows and inside loft spaces
- Install double glazing
- Replace all light bulbs with LEDs
- Install radiator thermostats and smart meters
If for some reason you can’t carry out works immediately, there are some temporary exemptions available for:
- new landlords and those whose properties would be devalued by more than 5% if improvement works are carried out; and
- landlords who can’t get third party consent to carry out the required improvements from say, the lender, tenant or superior landlord.
Breaches will result in financial penalties – which in some cases could be as much as £150,000 – so don’t ignore the deadline. April is only two months away, so landlords are advised to get their properties assessed and any works budgeted for sooner rather than later. Access will be needed to carry out the required works and arranging this with tenants can take time.
The smart money is on the Government raising the bar again in a few years’ time and property pundits think D or even C is likely to be set as the minimum EPC rating in the future. So if landlords have work to do on their rental homes, it’s well worth installing energy-efficient appliances, replacing those draughty doors and windows, and upgrading insulation to ensure properties achieve a C rating now.