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Time is all but running out for landlords who need to improve the energy efficiency of their rental properties.  

What is an EPC certificate?

An EPC provides details of a property's energy efficiency, its energy consumption and environmental impact. The property will be graded A to G, with A being the most energy efficient. An EPC is required whenever a property is sold, let to a new tenant, or built.  

What are the EPC regulation changes?

From April 1st 2018, privately rented properties in England and Wales will need to achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of no less than 'E'. If your privately rented property currently scores 'F' or 'G' on its EPC, then you will need to make changes to boost the rating by this date if you want to continue to rent the property out. It should be noted, however, that this only relates to new or renewal tenancies.  

The new minimum energy efficiency standards will apply to all tenancies – including existing tenancies – from 1st April 2020 onwards for domestic properties, and from 1st April 2023 for non-domestic properties. However, there are certain exemptions which landlords might be eligible for.

Will you need a new EPC?

If you do need to make improvements to the energy efficiency rating of your property, landlords are advised to commission a new EPC afterwards to demonstrate the improvements made and any changes to the energy rating. However, if the EPC remains valid (it is valid for ten years) and your property achieves an 'E' rating or higher, you don't need to take any further action unless you want to improve the energy rating further to help make the property more desirable to prospective tenants and cheaper to run.  

The benefits of an energy-efficient property

As a landlord, you don't want a property which is not energy efficient. Why? Not only will the energy bills be higher (and these you will have to pay personally if you experience any void periods) but you must declare the property's EPC rating when marketing the property for let. Tenants are savvy and know that the EPC rating is important and that it will affect how much they pay in energy bills. A better EPC rating will make the property more desirable to tenants and therefore easier to let, easier to sell should you decide to sell it, and potentially boost its market value.  

An energy efficient property will prove cheaper to run and maintain. A warm, comfortable property will be important to tenants, and if they are happy and satisfied with living in the property, they will stay longer, which will mean a steady rental income for the landlord and fewer void periods. 

How to cut the energy bills

There are many ways to improve the energy efficiency of a property, which in turn would lead to a cutting of the energy bills. From installing double or triple glazing and upgrading the heating system or boiler, to carrying out draught proofing to installing solid wall insulation, there are many options for landlords who want to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.   

In a previous article, we discussed Energy Performance Certificates and why/when you need one when selling a property

Alternatively, get in touch with our lettings team for further advice about EPCs or for guidance about letting your property in London, SE1.