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Saving the environment

At Wills & Smerdon we care about our landlords, our tenants AND the environment. Therefore, it is essential that we advise our landlords on how to improve the energy efficiency of their properties and make them as ‘green’ as possible. Not only will this help out tenants to afford their bills, but will help reduce pollution, a win-win!

A section of the EPC is dedicated to how energy efficient the property is. It’s graded from A to G, with A meaning an energy-efficient, well-insulated, probably modern home, and G meaning a draughty old building where the wind rattles the walls. Typically, you’ll find an older property with no retrofitted energy-saving technology will be around a D grade. There is also be a number from 1 – 100, where a higher number signifies that the home is more efficient and the fuel bills will cost less.

The EPC also gives an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power the property. Details are also listed on potential savings that could be made should improvements be made to the energy efficiency of your household running costs.

The legal bit

Under the Energy Performance of Buildings 2007 Regulations (amended 2011), all rental properties in England and Wales are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) prior to letting. This is a European directive to help reduce the Carbon Footprint of your rental property, so it is exceptionally important to the environment. These reports and graphs enable tenants to SEE AT A GLANCE how the property is assessed against other properties and advises how some simple remedies (such as the use of low energy lighting, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation) can have a huge impact on the environment and also on the tenant’s energy bills! EPCs are valid for 10 years. Since April 2016 a tenant has the right to apply for consent to carry out energy efficiency improvements in privately rented properties, and the Landlord will not be able to reasonably refuse consent.

From 2018 Landlords should ensure their privately rented properties meet a minimum energy efficiency standard (confirmed at EPC rating ‘E’).

Minimum Energy Standards

The Government’s consultation on raising energy performance standards for privately rented homes in England and Wales ended on 8th January 2021 and we anticipate the government response in the Spring. Some of the proposals are as follows:

*** LEGISLATION UPDATE JANUARY 2021 ***

  • New tenancies to reach an energy efficiency rating of C from 1 April 2025; and
  • all tenancies to reach an energy efficiency rating of C by 1 April 2028.
  • Increasing the Landlord’s cost cap to £10,000 inclusive of VAT per property (it is currently £3,500)
  • The requirement for landlords to install ‘fabric first’ measures e.g. insulation.
  • The private rented sector to support the uptake of smart meters.

Looking at our rental portfolio at Wills & Smerdon, over 50% of our properties are currently banded D and E.  We are working closely with our recommended, qualified and fully accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) “Leckie Assessing” who carry out our EPCs, and as soon as we have more information and guidance we will be in touch with those landlords who have properties which will need improvement so we can plan ahead and make the most of any grants available.