July 5, 2017
Property gossip August 2016

Landlords amongst you will most likely be aware that from April 2018 the MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) Regulations will make it unlawful to let buildings (both commercial and domestic) in England and Wales which do not achieve a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘E’.

There are some exceptions; however, to grant a new tenancy (including to an existing tenant) most landlords will need to ensure their property meets the new minimum standard.  We, therefore, recommend landlords check their EPCs, looking at the asset rating and the expiry date.

The EPC will be valid for 10 years, so if the EPC was logged onto the EPC register in 2008, you will need a new one fairly soon.

When the next EPC assessment is carried out, it’s possible the Domestic Energy Assessor will allocate your property a lower rating. Perhaps the windows are now less effective? Is your loft insulation below current standards? What about the boiler, could this now be less energy efficient?

In 2014, 11.75 million EPCs were recorded, with 6.7% of these falling into the ‘F’ or ‘G’ asset rating bracket – that’s 787,250 properties, quite a number. There are also suggestions that the minimum asset rating will be raised to ‘D’ in 2025 and to ‘C’ in 2030, and based on the same EPCs rating data from 2014, more than half of those properties would be affected come 2030. While these dates are not imminent; it’s worth factoring this into your thinking should you be looking at carrying out improvements to your property.

If we are managing your property and the asset rating is currently sitting at ‘F’ or ‘G’, we will be in touch shortly; however, please feel free to contact your dedicated Property Manager, to check the current rating for your property.

We have teamed up with a Domestic Energy Assessor who will be working with us to offer a solution to EPC compliance issues and who informs us that around 5 years ago, all Domestic Energy Assessors had to carry out lengthy ‘upskills’ training. The UK Government, in particular, the Department for Communities and Local Government, wished for all practising Domestic Energy Assessors to be upskilled to meet the changes to the National Occupational Standards. This, in turn, meant changes to the information collected for an EPC which is now greater than previously; the point being that it may be of little use carrying out improvements based on what is stated on an old EPC, as these, and the stated rating, are possibly subject to change already as a result of this ‘upskilling” training.

The above information is aimed to remind, or briefly inform, landlords about the incoming changes. We all know how quickly time passes us by these days and with April not (really) that far away, now seemed as good a time as any to write this piece.  At over 70 pages long, it would take up too much of your time (and would probably bore you to death) us going into detail about these changes here, but hopefully, this information will prompt landlords to start looking into the matter. Feel free to get in touch.