Changing requirements in 2020 for EPC certificates on rental properties – what are the rules?

In April 2018, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were introduced to the private rental market, requiring rented properties with new or renewed tenancy contracts to have a minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of E.

Up until now, Landlords with existing tenancies were exempt from making any energy efficiency changes to meet the MEES, but that will change from next year.

EPC regulation changes in 2020

From 1 April 2020, the Minimum Energy Deficiency Standards will apply to all tenancies, regardless of when the lease was granted.

This means that all UK landlords will need to make sure their properties adhere to the guidelines. If this applies to your buy-to-let, we would strongly advise putting into a plan in to action before the deadline.

How much will the improvements costs?

The government will no longer provide grants to Landlords to make the necessary improvements. The new rules require Landlords with properties rated F or G for energy efficiency to cover the cost of improvements up to a cap of £3,500 themselves, if they can’t find alternative funding.

Landlords who fail to comply with the new EPC regulations could face fines of up to £5,000.

Our experienced property rental team at Whatley Lane Estate Agents can advise you on the changes you need to make to your rental property to ensure you meet the required energy performance standards.

How can you improve your property’s energy performance rating?

  • Insulating your floors, roof, loft and walls helps to lock in warm air and reduces the demand on heating;
  • Double or triple glazing help traps heat indoors and prevents cold air penetrating through;
  • Solar panels are an environmentally friendly way to produce energy and save money on bills – there are schemes available which help to subsidise the costs of installation;
  • Switching to low-energy light bulbs throughout the property.

Are any properties exempt from MEES?  There are a few properties that don’t need an EPC, including:

  • Temporary buildings that will be used for less than two years
  • Listed buildings if the work would alter the building’s character (get advice from your local authority conservation officer about this);
  • Residential buildings intended to be used for less than four months per year;
  • Holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than four months per year/is let under a licence to occupy.

If you have a buy-to-let property in Suffolk and require advice on ensuring your property complies with the changing EPC rules, please contact our experienced lettings department at Whatley Lane Estate Agents.