As the new EPC legislation looms, are landlords ready?

As the new EPC legislation looms, are landlords ready?

As the new EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) legislation looms, landlords have just over a month to ensure that their rental properties meet the stated criteria. The UK government is in the process of driving landlords into creating greener, more energy efficient rental properties and, as of 1st April 2018, any property that does not comply with the new changes, could be subject to hefty fines.

Putting it simply, it will be unlawful for anyone to rent out a property that has an EPC rating that is lower than E. These new ratings apply to domestic and commercial properties with the rating based on fuel costs for the former and CO2 emissions for the latter.

Any landlord who has failed to make the necessary changes could find it difficult to rent out their properties or renew leases. According to government statistics, at the last count there were approximately 26% of domestic properties and 35% of commercial properties that didn’t meet the criteria, so this suggests that a significant portion of the market has been affected by this legislation.

One of the big fears is that due to the upgrade costs required to make certain properties EPC – compliant, there will also be a surge in rental prices as landlords strive to cover their costs.

The enforcement of the new regulations is the responsibility of Trading Standards and while penalties haven’t been finalised yet, they will depend on the rentable value of the property and could range from anything between £5K and £150K.

Concerned landlords are being urged to discuss the upcoming changes with their property solicitors to ensure they are compliant and don’t fall foul of the new legislation.