Franchise agency Belvoir is urging landlords to budget and plan for mandatory changes to the energy efficiency of rental properties, coming into effect next year.
Under the Energy Act 2011, from April 2016 F- and G- rated homes will be able to request that their landlord takes measures to improve the energy efficiency of a property.
The landlord will then be duty bound to respond within a month with a view to bringing the property up to the minimum E rating.
And from April 2018, it will become illegal to let a commercial or residential property on a new contract with an EPC rating lower than E- (F- or G-).
This ruling will not apply to existing lettings until 2023.
“By taking action now, landlords will have time on their side to schedule the works and budget costs accordingly. They will also be able to spread the outlay over the next few years,” says Dorian Gonsalves, Belvoir's director of commercial.
Gonsalves advises agents' landlords who wish to upgrade their properties to instruct an approved EPC assessor to survey the property and establish its current rating. Should the rating be less than an E, the assessor can advise on how to improve it.
“Improvements could be as simple as installing energy saving light bulbs and draught proofing, but may also involve comprehensive improvements, such as replacing an ageing boiler, putting in secondary glazing or upgrading heating controls, and installing systems that are likely to have an impact on improving overall energy efficiency,” says Gonsalves.
“Landlords should act now to save money and schedule their energy efficiency improvements in order to remain legally compliant.”
Last week, we reported that some 60% of landlords surveyed by a flat-sharing website said they have no intention of investing in their property to make it more energy efficient, despite the new legislation.