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11th January 2019

Landlords, Lettings and Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

If you own a residential property that is let to tenants on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) you should already be aware of the requirement to provide a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to your tenants.

The EPC can be a maximum of 10 years old but must be updated if there are significant works carried out to the property. Copies of most EPC’s carried out can be found at:

https://www.epcregister.com/home.html

From April 2018 for all new tenancies where the EPC is provided, the property must have a minimum rating of E or above. A civil penalty of £4,000 can be imposed on landlords for breaches of this regulation. Landlords must review the EPC for any property where the AST is due to come to an end soon, or where this may be renewed, and check the energy efficiency rating. Any improvement works necessary will need to be carried out and a new EPC showing the improved rating provided to the tenant before any new AST can begin.

In addition, from April 2020 for any continuing tenancies where the EPC rating of the property is below an E, compulsory energy improvement works will need to be carried out at the landlord’s expense. The EPC itself lists some of the common improvements that can be made and gives some guidance on which are the most cost-effective.

There are still some properties that do not legally require an EPC (even if the landlord provides one) such as Listed Buildings. These new rules do not affect those exemptions, so an EPC will still not be legally required.

We highly recommend all landlords check the EPC rating of their residential properties and assess over the coming year what improvement works can be carried out to raise their EPC rating to at least the minimum standard of E. Waiting until April 2020 could prove to be a costly mistake.

For more information on the items discussed in this article please contact Paul Ross on 01223 532735 or click here to email Paul.

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