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Government tells trade body - new EPC rules will come in next April

The Residential Landlords’ Association has been told in no uncertain terms by the government that changes to Energy Performance Certificate scheduled for April 2018 will not be delayed - and the lettings sector should prepare now. 

The government will be publishing detailed guidelines in October to clarify the new rules and the obligations of agents, landlords and others. This is expected to include news on a possible cap on improvements - an initial figure of £5,000 has been discussed, but not yet confirmed.

The news came when RLA executives met senior officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; the officials confirmed that from eight months time all privately let properties must by law have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of E.

The rule applies to new tenancies and renewals only, but will be extended to existing tenancies by 2020. The association says it has now confirmed that listed buildings will be exempt, on condition that landlords have done as much as they are permitted to, to make them energy efficient. 

In a note about the meeting on its website the RLA says there are “real fears” that tradesmen may struggle to meet demand for work on mainstream properties close to the deadline next spring - and it suggests landlords may want to act sooner than later to upgrade their properties.

It is estimated that 330,000 privately rented properties are rated F and G and will be affected by the changes. These are mostly Victorian and Edwardian homes; the RLA says around 18 per cent of rented homes were built before 1919 prior to the introduction of cavity wall, meaning they are harder to insulate.

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    All mine are victorian. I can't meet the E rating I've had second and third opinions. People choose to rent these properties- why push them into new builds if that isn't what they want. There have be exemptions or waivers available other than for listed buildings. What about where landlords pay the bills not the tenant such as room lets or short stayers who have their own home elsewhere?. I never had a tenant who cared about the EPC they just wanted a large room with high ceiling- they don't care if its F rated!!!

  • David Bennett

    Your comment suggests, that like most estate agents, perhaps you neither care about or choose not to understand the purpose of the EPC. Why not ask your EPC provider to have a chat with you and explain or advise? The Green Deal has landlord written all over it and with the resurrection of the Green Deal Finance company, there is no excuse not to have relevant energy improvements carried out. As an energy assessor, I look at all ages of property. One of my largest clients has in excess of 100 properties and is working through a managed programme of energy improvements. Typically 300 year old, non-listed cottages, which we get up to a min Rating of E or D. A new boiler and loft insulation usually does the trick. Perhaps you are taking advise from the wrong people?

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