What do the potential EPC changes mean for landlords?

5 min read
Published on
August 2, 2022
EPC homes
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How will EPC changes affect Landlords?

We understand that for landlords there are many hoops you need to jump through in order to rent your property out and ensure it is safe for tenants. An EPC (energy performance certificate) is one of these requirements.

An EPC rating allows tenants to further understand how energy efficient it will be to live in a rented property by giving an indication of how well heat is retained, how efficient the boiler and central heating are, and how sustainable energy appliances are. This will also effectively allow tenants to weigh up how expensive it will be to live in your property during their tenancy.

But an EPC isn't just about being transparent with your tenants, it gives the government an indication of how energy-efficient housing is in the United Kingdom. Whilst your tenant may be able to cope with an EPC of E, the same can't be said for the planet year after year.

Therefore, the government have published a consultation potentially raising the minimum EPC from an E rating to a C by the 1st of April 2025 and all tenancies by 2028. The bill, introduced in June 2021, is seen as playing a key part in the UK achieving net-zero and helping carbon emissions as research reveals rented properties, which make up 20% of the housing market, are the least energy efficient properties on the market – costing over £6 billion in energy bills and producing 11 megatons of carbon dioxide a year.

What can Landlords do to prepare?

The best thing landlords can currently do ahead of this change is to start making changes to their property’s energy efficiency – some are small and easy whilst others are a little bit more disruptive but worth the hassle long-term.

  • Switch to LED lighting - An LED light bulb costs around £1.71 a year to run, whereas a halogen is 8 times that of £8.42. Change your light bulbs to reduce your energy bill this summer. The reason why it's more expensive is simple, it uses more energy. This is a quick change that could help contribute to changing your EPC rating.
  • Insulate your loft - Laying loft insulation to a thickness of 270mm in a typical non-insulated three-bedroom semi could trim £135 a year from energy bills, as less heat will be lost through the roof and insulating cavity walls can save up to £155 a year in a semi-detached house. Solid-wall insulation, although more expensive to fit, could save you £210 in the same type of house.
  • Install a new boiler – If your boiler is ageing it is inevitable that bills and energy consumption will amount. Purchasing and installing a new boiler can help improve your home's energy efficiency massively with savings of up to £300 a year!
  • Replace old windows - double or even triple glazing – This can shoot your energy efficiency sky-high by trapping energy in your property. It can be costly but usually, windows are not high maintenance, and the initial payment should return in dividends.

It goes without saying though that now more than ever for landlords, it is essential to protect your investment by looking after your property and ensuring it is well maintained.

Regular property inspections and building good relations with your tenants keep your property an attractive proposition on the rental market spread the cost of improving energy efficiency, and ensure you get a return on your investments.

What happens if landlords don't abide by the new changes?

Not only will Landlords have their licence to rent revoked but they could face fines for not having a valid EPC ranging from £5000 to £30,000. With these new rules and regulations coming into play all landlords need to start understanding the scale of the proposed changes by looking at their properties' current EPC certificate and understanding where their current energy inefficiency exists and start work.

Take time to plan how to improve your property's energy efficiency to ensure you make the most cost-effective measures for the property. For more landlord tips, check out our articles and advice page here.

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