On Monday, April 1st new energy efficiency laws officially came into place which detailed how much landlords could be charged if they refuse or are unable to improve their properties past an EPC rating of E. The bill, concisely titled as the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2019, only affects the private sector, not social housing.

Effectively, the new regulations will force landlords to upgrade F and G rated properties to at least an E rating. This means that a landlord will need to seek funding to improve their properties that fall in with these ratings including additions such as insulation, low-energy lighting, solar panels, etc. These measures are of course pricy, but the landlord only needs to choose the measures that lift a property to an E rating.

The landlord can choose their own upgrades as long as “the measure(s) will improve their sub-standard property to a minimum of EPC E.” If a landlord has made all the relevant improvements they can, and the home still falls under an E, then an appeal can be made. However, if the wrong improvements are made, then the landlord will have to pay for upgrades.

 

Wait, What Are EPC Ratings?

An EPC rating is a report of a property’s energy efficiency. This report is conducted by EPC assessors which survey the property before producing the report. Broadly, an EPC result depends on two major factors:

  • The level of carbon dioxide emissions
  • The amount of energy used per square meter

Once conducted, an EPC report is valid for 10 years. The marking criteria runs from A-G, with most dwellings falling in E-D.

 

The March 15th Amendment

Importantly, an amendment was added on March 15th which introduced a “self-funding” clause into the law. This clause activates when landlords with properties under an E-band rating cannot access third-party funding. This amounts to up to £3,500 spending including VAT per property, meaning landlords without funding must spend up to this amount to improve a property.

As long as this lack of funding occurs as a prerequisite, a maximum of £3,500 goes on both purchasing and installation to improve the property. If a landlord can receive some third-party funding, they are allowed to top up the funds themselves to £3,500.

Landlords do have time to look for funding from local authorities and green deal finance plans, with a deadline set for April 1st, 2020.

 

Are You Going to Be Impacted By These New Regulations?

If you’re a landlord and you’re going to be impacted by these regulations, then please get in touch with our friendly team of experienced brokers to see how we can help you shore-up some cash and get ready.