Energy efficiency in privately rented homes
There are new rules around the energy efficiency of privately rented homes and Energy Performance Certificates. We are able to offer advice on how to stay within the law and improve the energy efficiency. Below is some of the key information private landlords, agents and tenants need to know.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
An EPC provides potential buyers and tenants with a sign of the energy efficiency of a property. The certificate will contain information about:
- The property's typical energy costs.
- Recommend ways to reduce energy use to make the property more energy efficient.
See an example of an EPC (PDF: 209 Kb / 4 pages) on GOV.UK.
To get an EPC to contact an accredited energy assessor. They will assess the property, produce a certificate and load it onto the national database for a fee.
Find an assessor on the Energy Performance Certificate Register.
An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from an A (most efficient) to a G (least efficient). Once issued, an EPC is valid for 10 years.
How do the rules affect privately rented properties?
All privately rented properties need to have an Energy Performance Certificate. It is an offence not to provide the tenant with an EPC at the beginning of a tenancy. It is not possible to serve a Section 21 to end an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, where a deposit has been paid, if the tenant has not been given an EPC or a gas safety certificate. Regulations aim to improve the energy efficiency of privately rented properties.
What are Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)?
The Government wants to improve the energy efficiency of all buildings, both commercial and domestic. They have introduced specific targets for the private rented sector, which is generally less energy efficient than it could be. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards mean that:
- From 1 April 2018 any new tenancy must not be granted if the Energy Performance indicator is less than an 'E' (unless a specified exemption applies).
- From 1 April 2020 no property should be let if the Energy Performance indicator is less than an 'E' (unless a specified exemption applies).
- A landlord cannot refuse a tenants reasonable request for the installation of energy efficiency measures.
We want to talk to landlords and tenants about the energy efficiency of their rented properties. We are offering advice through the Warm Homes partnership.
What should you do as a landlord?
As a landlord you must ensure all your properties have a valid EPC.
Check if your property has a registered EPC on EPC Register website.
Properties with older EPCs might have already undergone work to meet the standards. Thus the current EPC may no longer reflect the energy efficiency of the property. Landlords should check their EPCs and consider renewals if they have undertaken the appropriate works.
Landlords should consider planning for 2020, or the next change of tenant. This can be done by reviewing the recommendations for their EPC that will suggest ways to improve the rating.
Improvements can include:
- Boiler renewal
- Installation of radiator thermostats
- Upgrade and install loft insulation
- Install cavity wall insulation
- Upgrade windows
- Install energy efficient light bulbs
Is my property exempt from the scheme?
There are several reasons where a property can be exempt from the regulations. Landlords must register this exemption and provide supporting evidence. Exemptions are defined as:
- High cost exemptions
- 7-year payback exemptions
- All improvements made exemptions
- Wall insulation exemptions
- Consent exemptions
- Devaluation exemptions
- New landlord exemptions
Go to register an exemption on www.gov.uk, a service is for landlords to register a property as exempt from the private rented property minimum standards.
Before registering an exemption please contact us. We may be able to help on improving the energy efficiency before you register an exemption.
Go to www.gov.uk to find out more about exemptions.