Landlord EPC Ratings
The Energy Performance Certificate is vital to selling, buying, or renting a home. Giving housebuyers a view of the energy efficiency of a property is very important. The house buyer will be able to see how efficient the property is on a scale from A to G, with an A rating being the most efficient. Apart from listed buildings; all homes need to have a valid EPC before they can be sold.
New targets for EPC ratings
Following a consultation in December 2020, the UK government has proposed changes to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for England and Wales. Under the new proposed rules, all newly rented properties will be required to have an EPC rating of ‘C’ or above from the year 2025. This is an increase from the current legislation that requires an EPC rating of ‘E’ or higher. Existing tenancies will have until 2028 to bring themselves up to the standard of the new rules.
The rules are slightly different in Scotland where the minimum EPC rating required is ‘D’. This requirement was brought into force in Scotland from the 1st of April 2022 when a new tenancy starts, and by a backstop date of 31 March 2025, all private rented properties with an EPC will need to meet this standard.
The proposed change in regulation is part of a wider plan to make homes more energy-efficient and reduce carbon emissions, as part of the government’s target to be net-zero by 2050. We must stress that all of these changes are still at the proposal stage at there is every likelihood that for the parts of the UK where the law hasn’t yet been brought in, these dates could be pushed back.
Landlord exemption eligibility
While a lot of work is happening in homes across the country to improve EPC ratings, landlords receive exemptions for bringing buildings up to standard.
Once a property has been assessed to establish its EPC rating, landlords are given a set of recommendations for improvements they can make to raise the EPC rating to an acceptable level. If the cost of installing the cheapest improvement measure exceeds more than £3,500, the government grants landlords a 5-year period of exemption from improving the rating. If, after five years, the improvements can’t be made for the same reason, another exemption will be granted.