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The New EPC and Me: What do the 2018 EPC changes mean for landlords?

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Mon 23 Apr 2018

The New EPC and Me: What do the 2018 EPC changes mean for landlords?

From April 2018 the rules around Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) changed. We’ve created this guide to help you understand how this could affect you as a landlord.

What is an EPC?
Since 1 st August 2007, all properties for sale or rent in the UK have needed an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This provides properties with an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) which is valid for 10 years. An EPC gives information about the energy use and
typical energy costs of a property and recommendations on how energy usage can be reduced and money saved.

As a landlord, it was your responsibility to make your EPC certificates available to your tenants before they rented one of your properties. The energy efficiency rating had no bearing on whether a property was suitable to be rented.

Tighter rules brought in
From the 1 st April 2018, if you own one or more properties that don’t have an energy efficient rating of at least an E then you legally can’t rent them out unless you qualify for an exemption and they’re registered on the Public Exemptions Register. This came into force for new lets and renewals on the 1st April 2018 and will apply to existing tenancies from 1 st April 2020.

For more information, click here

What is the penalty for breaching this new rule?
If you have a property with an energy efficient rating of F or G, you risk a fine of up to £5,000 if you rent it out to a new tenant or renew with an existing tenant.

What should I do?
Focus your attention on making improvements to the properties you own. There will be recommendations on your Energy Performance Certificates but for more ideas, check out our top tips:

Replace the existing boiler with a modern, energy-efficient boiler if your EPC gave a boiler rating of 1 or 2 stars.
Add thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to the radiators in each room.
Install energy-efficient lighting. LEDs are a great option as they can cut lighting costs by up to 90%.
Replace old appliances that have poor energy efficient ratings with new appliances that are rated A++ or A+.
Get the loft insulated. Ideally, you want loft insulation that is 250 to 270mm thick. This could save future tenants around £225 a year off their energy bills, depending on the type of property (1) .
Get cavity wall insulation. Your future tenants could save between £70 – £225 (2) a year if you do.
Reduce draughts by filling in any gaps around the windows and doors.

*1. http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-insulation/roof- and-loft
*2. http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-insulation/cavity- wall

Once you are happy with the changes you have made to your properties you can apply to be retested. If your properties’ energy efficient ratings have improved to at least an E, you’ll be able to rent them out again, safe in the knowledge that you’re not breaking the law.

If you’d like us to help you find your next tenants, please give us a ring on 01744 88 33 22.