Since October 2008, it is a legal requirement for rental properties in England and Wales to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is carried out by a registered energy assessor and is simply an assessment of your property’s energy efficiency. Your assessor will look at things such as windows, roofs, walls, insulation, and any renewable energy systems, such as solar panels. Considerations will also be made on the efficiency of your boiler and heating system, the year the property was built and the emissions any fireplaces may emit. They will then rate your property, with ratings ranging from A, the most efficient, to G, the least efficient.
EPCs are valid for 10 years and are readily available to view at no charge on the government website. Once your certificate expires, you only need to renew this if you wish to sell or let the property.
On 1 April 2018, Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came into force meaning that all properties let or sold in England and Wales must be rated E or above.
From 1 April 2020, MEES were updated to apply to all tenancies and not just new ones.
Following consultation in December 2020, the government have proposed that by 2025 all NEW rental properties will need to be rated C and above. In 2028, this will extend to include ALL tenancies and not just new ones.
As a landlord, you are legally obliged to carry out whatever works are set out in your EPC to the property to make it fit for letting up to a cost of £3,500. If the costs exceed this amount you can apply for a high-cost exemption.
Once the new rules come into force in 2025, the current cap of £3,500 will be raised to £10,000. There are government grants that can be applied for to help with the cost of these improvements.
Some properties are exempt from MEES. This would apply to, to name a few, listed buildings, protected buildings and some industrial sites, details of which can be found on the government website.
You must provide your tenant with a copy of the EPC. This is usually carried out through the agent you are letting the property with. If you do not have an agent, then you must supply this directly to the tenant.
Should you not update your property to meet MEES, currently you can be fined £5,000. Once the EPC rating is raised to a minimum of C, the penalty increases to £30,000.
Further details can be found on the government website.
We have a friendly and experienced team of conveyancing solicitors who can advise both landlords and tenants. If you would like advice on a residential conveyancing matter, contact our team at Fraser Dawbarns and see how we can help you 01945 461456
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