An investment company says agents and landlords should start taking measures to ensure their properties comply with the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards that come into effect next spring.
The changes, from 1 April 2018, mean that it will be unlawful to let or lease a residential or commercial property with a poor energy rating.
Failure to comply means that after the April deadline, properties that do not meet the minimum standards cannot be re-let until improvements are made. If owners re-let, they could face a penalty fine of up to £5,000 for domestic properties.
Now Adam Kingswood, head of Kingswood Residential Investment Management, says agents and landlords should straight away verify the accuracy of any existing EPC report to ensure a reliable starting point.
Introduced with the aim of improving the energy efficiency of private rented properties, MEES requires all buildings in England or Wales to achieve at least an E rating on their Energy Performance Certificate before they can be leased or rented. The regulations apply for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from April 1 2018 and for all existing tenancies on April 1 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption.
“Landlords should review their EPCs now, as even properties that currently have an EPC rating of E may be at risk from the regulations as the standard for achieving an E grade has changed since EPCs were first introduced. In some cases, the EPC may just need updating if improvement works have already been carried out but the EPC wasn’t updated since the initial certificate” he advises.