Introduced earlier this year, revisions to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) on rental properties have meant that landlords are unable to let a flat or house with an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating below an E.
In the years to come, we may even see further changes to this requirement, with plans to raise the bar to band C by 2025.
The aim behind this EPC regulation is to reduce bills for lower income households, provide more environmentally-friendly homes for tenants, and improve the quality of landlords' investments.
What does this mean for tenants?
Energy-efficient homes can be a lot more appealing to tenants, as they come hand-in-hand with the promise of lower energy bills and better insulation.
These properties are likely to boast a range of energy-efficient features, including: LED lightbulbs, heating controls, energy-saving appliances, high-performance windows and insulation.
As a landlord, how can I pay for energy efficiency improvements?
Whilst the financial cost of these improvements would normally be the landlord's responsibility, certain grants can provide additional funds and support.
The extension of the Green Homes Grant for another year – for example – offers a really brilliant opportunity for you to make drastic changes to your properties.
Learn more at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/green-homes-grant-extended-for-
What happens if landlords break the rules?
Failure to abide by the regulations could see fines of up to £5,000 for landlords.
With the government's long-term proposal for band C ratings outlining a potential fine of £30,000 in the near future.
Can tenants request energy efficiency improvements?
Yes, tenants have the right to request consent from their landlords to carry out energy efficiency improvements to privately rented properties.
Landlords can only refuse consent if there are compelling reasons to do so, and they should be willing to contribute to bringing their homes up to scratch or improve their ratings on the EPC scale.
How long does an EPC last for rental properties?
EPCs on properties are valid for ten years.
If you are not sure as a landlord when your EPC needs to be renewed, then you can check on the EPC register provided by the government.
The EPC register can also be a good way for tenants to check how energy efficient a property is before thinking about renting it.
If you are a tenant or landlord and want any further information surrounding EPC rules and regulations, please get in contact with us as we will be happy to help.