Landlords to pay for energy efficiency improvements.

As part of the government’s increasing pressure on the private rented sector, they have proposed amendments to existing regulations in respect of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for rental properties in England and Wales.

Since April 2018, landlords of rental properties with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of F or G have been forbidden from granting a new tenancy until the property has been upgraded to a minimum rating of E.

This was subject to certain requirements and exemptions but also based upon a principal of ‘no cost to the landlord’; in essence if the landlord could not get access to a grant to pay for the required improvements, they became exempt.

The amendments to the regulations will mean that landlords of these lowest rated properties will have to contribute towards the cost of improvements regardless of whether or not there is any funding available and up to a capped limit of £3500 inclusive of VAT.

Making these worst performing homes more energy efficient is seen as a positive step towards tackling fuel poverty and it is expected that these changes could save tenants an average of £180 per year on their bills.

Properties which cannot be improved to an E rating for less than the spending cap of £3500 will be able to apply for a ‘high cost’ exemption, subject to the provision of three quotes which evidence the excessive costs. It is understood that further exemptions to the regulations will continue to normally apply in the following circumstances: 

  • Certain measures cannot be installed due to the negative impact upon the fabric of the building.
  • Third party consents cannot be obtained (eg. planning permission or consent from the tenant).
  • The installation of certain measures would negatively impact on the property’s value by more than 5%.
  • All improvements have been completed (or there are none that can be carried out) and the property still remains below an E rating.

If you would like to know more about Energy Performance Certificates, the regulations surrounding them and how they might be relevant to your property then please contact us at Eden Estates and speak to one of our local experts. We are the longest established estate agents in Bewdley and have been selling and renting property throughout the Wyre Forest and beyond since 2001.