From 1st April 2018 landlords will not be able to lease a property for rent unless it has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of E or higher.
If a property has an EPC of an F or G, the landlord must initiate improvements to bring the bulding up to scratch, or demonstrate that they have made all possible ‘cost effective’ energy saving measures possible.
An improvement is considered not cost effective if it will not pay for itself within seven years, and herein lies a loophole that renders the new regulations much weaker than they otherwise might be.
Climate change charity 10:10 estimates that this could leave thousands of tenants trapped in old, cold homes, collectively paying £200 million extra in energy bills every year because their properties are so inefficient.
Where they are correctly enforced however, the new MEES regulations will also place much greater importance on the accuracy of an EPC, as the difference between an F and and E rating will determine whether or not a property can be let.
An EPC is valid for ten years, which means in some cases that the current energy efficiency level of a building may be different from when the EPC was conducted (for better or for worse). For example, a property may have received a E rating but has since fallen into disrepair, or it may have been given an F but has since been improved, such as by having a newer boiler installed.
For these reasons, it is more important than ever that landlords are able to present accurate and reliable EPC data when challenged, as incorrect data could prove costly. This may be particularly relevant in areas like Brighton with a large stock of older and neglected student rental properties.
If you are uncertain if your property has an up to date and accurate EPC then contact BHESCo‘s Energy Saving Service today to arrange for a surveyor to visit.