Government confirm EPC rules will be in place by April 2018

landlords unaware of EPC changes
UK landlords largely unaware of new EPC legislation

The department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have confirmed in a meeting with the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), that the changes to EPC rules preventing landlords from renting out inefficient properties, will be implemented in April 2018.

From next April, all private rented properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E.  Any homes rated F or G must be improved or taken off the market as it will be illegal to rent them out.

The rules will only be applicable to new tenancies and renewals, however they will extend to all existing tenancies by 2020.

The RLA are therefore reminding their members to take action and to improve any issues with their property sooner rather than later or risk having to take their property off the market.  They have warned their members to be wary that contractors may see an increase in demand for work due to the new rules, so it is advisable to plan improvements soon to avoid missing the deadline.

The government are due to publish specific guidelines for landlords in October, which will clarify the new rules and their obligations.  However, the government have yet to confirm a cap on the amount of money landlords must spend on the improvements, with an initial figure of £5,000 proposed.

Listed buildings have been confirmed as being exempt from the rules on the condition that landlords have done as much as they are permitted to do to make them energy efficient.  Landlords will also need to register their properties online.

It is estimated that around 330,000 homes in the private rented sector are rated F and G and will be affected by the changes, with most properties being Victorian and Edwardian homes.  A total of 18% of homes in the PRS were built in 1919, prior to the introduction of cavity walls, which means they are harder to insulate.

Policy director for the RLA, David Smith, commented: “The government has made it abundantly clear that there will be no movement on the April 2018 date so landlords MUST comply with the new legislation and the sooner the act the better”.

The RLA have advised they will continue to update their members with further information as soon as it becomes available.

Full article available on Residential Landlords Association:

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