2018 brings new changes and minimum standards for both residential and commercial lettings.

From 1st April 2018, all privately rented properties, whether commercial or residential, will require an EPC rating of at least grade E.

Initially, the new rules will cover lettings and renewals of tenancies after the 1st April 2018 with this expanding to all existing tenancies from 1st April 2020.

New Energy Performing Cerificate Rules

What does this mean for me? If you are a Landlord and are planning to let or renew an existing residential or a commercial property with an EPC rating of either F or G, you will be required to bring the property up to at least a grade E prior to the commencement of the term.

If you are already letting a property with an EPC rating of either F or G, you will be required to bring the property to at least grade E by 1st April 2020.

Does this include all lettings? Yes, these minimum standards will include:

  • Granting of a new assured tenancy including Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs)
  • Any extensions of assured tenancy including formal extensions or informal agreements to extend
  • When a statutory periodic tenancy comes to an end
  • A new assured tenancy by succession
  • A new Rent Act protected tenancy
  • An agricultural tenancy or other similar occupation is renewed or extended

What about voluntary EPC’s? If you obtain an EPC when there is no legal requirement to have one, the Landlord will not be required to meet the minimum standards. For instances, the property is let on a lease which is exempt from an EPC or the EPC has since expired.

Remember —you must have any EPC exemption registered upon each use of the exemption. This could mean each year.

What are the penalties for non-compliance? It is the responsibility of the Local Authority to ensure compliance with the EPC requirements. If a Landlord has not complied with their responsibilities, the Local Authority can issue a fine of up to £5,000 and stop you from letting the property.

Are there any exemption? Yes, the following exemptions apply:

  • The works required to bring the property up to at least grade E will devalue the property by more than 5%.
  • Consent to carry out the works cannot be obtained from either the tenant, lender or superior landlord.
  • If you, as the Landlord, cannot afford to carry out the required improvements
  • The relevant improvements were carried out but the EPC rating is still below grade E.

How can Attwells help? If you are unsure what the rented property rating is or would like more information on this, Attwells can search the EPC database and let you know the status of any registered EPC.

If the let property does not meet the necessary standard, Attwells can explain your liabilities is greater detail and how best to plan for the changes moving forward. We can also produce a comprehensive, bespoke list of your other Landlord responsibilities to ensure you remain compliant throughout the term of the tenancy.

For more information please call Phillip on: 0207 449 3139.