The government is working to encourage landlords to take responsibility for their rental properties and improve their energy efficiency ratings. According to the Energy Saving Trust, more than a third of the UK’s homes are rented and over 10% of these properties have an energy efficiency rating of F or G. These are the two lowest grades on the EPC scale.
There are new rules about to come into effect that will mean that landlords will have an obligation to keep their tenants warm and healthy. This should mean happier tenants and create better landlord-tenant relationships, as well as helping the environment.
The new regulations
From April 2016: Residential private landlords will not be able to decline a tenant’s request for energy efficiency improvements if they can apply for government support to help pay for them.
From April 2018: All landlords must improve their properties’ energy efficiency rating to at least an E, or have installed the improvements where government grants or subsidies are available. The rules will apply from April 2020 to all private rented properties, and from April 2023 for non-domestic buildings. The
My property doesn’t meet the standards. What can I do?
If you’ve recently had the energy efficiency of your property assessed and you have been given a rating lower than E, the first thing you should do is look at your insulation.
- Draught-proofing: This is the cheapest way to prevent heat escaping from your property. Plug the gaps in windows, doors, letterboxes and keyholes.
- Loft insulation: Adding loft lagging to a semi-detached house can save up to £140 a year on heating bills and have a significant impact on the EPC rating.
- Wall insulation: Cavity wall insulation is available for post-1920s properties and can save up to £160 a year on fuel bills. Solid wall insulation is more expensive but could save you up to £260 a year.
By 2020, all landlords will not be able to let out a domestic property with an EPC rating below E, and from 2018 all new tenancies should be E-rated or above. You could end up with a fine of £5000 if the correct measures aren’t taken, so start thinking about insulation and energy saving measures for your rental properties now.
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