Residential Update: Changes to Satisfactory Energy Performance Certificates
The UK Government opened a consultation on 30th September 2020 proposing to increase the rating required for a satisfactory Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for private rented properties to a C rating by 2030. Currently, domestic private rental properties must meet a minimum level of energy efficiency, which is an EPC rating of E.
However, the consultation is proposing that by 1st April 2025, all newly rented properties will be required to have a rating of C or above. Existing tenancies will have until 1st April 2028 to comply with the proposals. Landlords who choose not to comply will face penalties of up to £30,000.
The consultation to change the minimum EPC rating remains open until 30th December 2021.
The changes are to ensure landlords improve rented properties so tenants have a decent standard of living. The scheme will also assist the government's net-carbon zero targets for the future as it will force landlords to make home improvements. Otherwise, they will be fined or unable to rent their property.
The proposed changes have raised concerns, given its impact on a significant number of properties and the ability for landlords to pay for such home improvements in the aftermath of Covid-19.
How can the EPC be improved?
We have put together a list of changes that may help to improve the property rating:
- Change existing lighting to LED light bulbs
- Insulate cavity walls
- Insulate the loft
- Improve windows with double or triple glazing
- Install an energy-efficient boiler
- Use a smart meter
The government has also introduced many grants for landlords. However, some are only available to landlords where their tenant receives UK benefits. For instance, Redbridge local authority has announced Green Grants to landlords for certain improvements on properties with an EPC rating of D or lower and where the tenants earn £30,000 or less.
Grants landlords can apply for:
- Free loft insulation
- Free cavity wall insulation
- Free replacement storage heaters
- Free first time central heating
- Free internal wall insulation – electric heated properties only
If you need any advice on the above matters or anything related to residential property, please feel free to call, I am always happy to help.