Landlords only have until 1 April to meet new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.
If they don’t make the changes they face being unable to let them out under new tenancies, without an appropriate exemption.
Under the government’s new rules, a rental property must meet a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E. This rule will extend to all rental properties, irrespective of the tenancy situation, by April 1st, 2020.
Under long-term plans, the government wants to see as many UK homes as possible achieve an EPC rating of C by 2035. And with many homes in the private rental sector needing to reach that mark by 2030 “where practical, cost-effective and affordable.”
The government’s Clean Growth Strategy report states: “We want to further reduce emissions from homes while ensuring that everyone has a home that is comfortable, heathy and affordable to run.
“For privately rented homes, we have legislated so that from April 2018, landlords of the worst performing properties will need to improve those properties to a minimum of EPC Band E before they can be let, lowering bills for some of the most vulnerable private tenants while ensuring costs of improvements are reasonable and affordable.
“We will consult shortly on steps to make these regulations more effective.”
Whilst adapting homes to be more energy efficient comes at a cost, the report also outlines the benefits of doing so:
The report added: “Almost 79% of homes in England in 2015 had an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of Band D or better compared to 39 per cent in 2005.
“Upgrading energy efficiency from an EPC Band E to an EPC Band D reduces energy costs by £380 per year on average. For example, the annual running cost of a Band C rated home are £270 lower than the average Band D rated home and £650 less than the average Band E rated home.”
Dave Princep, the Residential Landlord Association’s health and safety consultant, wrote: “The recently published government’s Clean Growth Strategy indicates that they will be shortly looking at increasing the energy efficiency standards that will apply to the domestic PRS – probably incrementally increasing the minimum EPC band at which premises may be let over the coming years.
“Against this background it is recommended that landlords whose premises are below a band C to consider undertaking all cost-effective energy improvements whenever undertaking major refurbishment or significant works at their properties.”