Important changes to EPC legislation in April 2018

3rd January 2018

Important changes to EPC legislation in April 2018

There are some important changes being made to the minimum Energy Preformance Rating (EPC) rating requirements for rental properties in 2018.

Landlords are legally required to commission an assessment of their rental property every 10 years – if it continues to be rented out beyond the 10-year mark.

The EPC shows the Energy Efficiency Rating of the property in bands A-G; A being the most energy efficient and G being the least. Currently, there is no minimum energy efficiency requirement.

What's changing in April 2018?

From April 2018, the law will require that every rental property must have an energy efficiency rating of at least E. This will apply immediately to new tenancies and existing tenancies that are being renewed or extended from April.

Any property with a rating of F or G will be deemed unfit for rental and appropriate measures will need to be taken to improve the energy rating to the minimum E rating.

How to improve your property EPC rating

Some of the things you could do to improve the EPC rating above E include:

Making sure any cavity walls are filled with insulation materials, such as foam or beads.Replace an old boiler for a newer, more efficient model.Ensure the loft insulation is at least 270mm deep to keep heat inside the property.

What will happen if the energy rating is below E?

Your local authority will be responsible for ensuring that your property has a minimum energy rating of E. If they discover that your property performs below this standard, they may issue a fine up to £5,000 and stop you from renting the property.

The exemptions to this legislative change are:

The improvement works will devalue the property by 5% or more

The landlord cannot get consent to carry out the works either from the tenant, mortgage lender or superior landlord

If the landlord cannot afford to carry out any improvement works

If the relevant improvement works have been carried out but the energy rating remains under a rating of E

It's also important to note that from April 2020, landlords will not be allowed to rent their property at all if the energy rating is F or G, even if there are tenants inside the property and in their contract.