FROM 1 April 2018, it will be a legal requirement for new lettings, leases subject to renewal or lease extensions in the private rented sector to have a minimum Energy Performance Rating (EPC) of E or above.
As such, newly let properties or lease renewals and extensions after this date that have an EPC Rating of F of G are subject to a penalty. Penalties may be cumulative. The penalty regime ranges from £5,000 to a maximum of £150,000.
A few property types however, are exempt. These include: standalone buildings with total useful floor area of less than 50 square metres, buildings used as a place of worship, and temporary structures. Properties are also exempt if a relevant suitably qualified expert provides written advice that the measures will reduce a property's value by five per cent or more.
A common misconception with the EPC Regulations is that listed buildings, or buildings within a conservation area, aren't required to have an EPC, and therefore aren't affected by the law changes in April. This is, however, not the case. Listed buildings and buildings in a conservation area are required to have a valid EPC and must therefore be up to the required standard from 1 April, unless the landlord can prove the energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter the character or appearance of the building.
If your property falls into the F or G category, don't panic, contact Underwoods. Underwoods understands that the rules and exemptions seem difficult to interpret and is able to give a professional service in obtaining reliable contractors to undertake works which are most likely to have the greatest impact on improving the EPC rating of a building.
Underwoods will ensure the most cost-effective solution is considered, thereby reducing property ownership costs, and increase property's appeal to new tenants.
For more information contact Shaun Collins on 01604 783003 or Ben Alders on 01604 783000.