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.


The Best Halloween events in Suffolk

The team at Whatley Lane Estate Agents share their pick of the best Halloween events in Suffolk this Autumn.

The Historic towns of Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk are spooky places to be this Halloween. Suffolk’s mysterious medieval buildings, stately homes and surrounding villages play host to some eerie goings-on.

Are you brave enough to join us in some ghostly fun this Halloween?

Make sure you plan some spooky fun for all the family this Halloween.

The Best Halloween Events in Suffolk

Children’s Halloween Party
The Racing Centre, Newmarket
Sat 27 Oct

Event details

Needle Felted Pumpkin Workshop
The Racing Centre, Newmarket
Sat 12 Oct
10:00am – 12:00pm

Fancy making your very own small needle felted pumpkin decoration ready for Autumn and Halloween?
Event details

The Halloween Night Newmarket Ghost Walk
Clock Tower Mews, Exeter Rd, Newmarket
Thu 31 Oct
16:30 – 17:30

A fun filled and spooky ghost walk for children of all ages. There are prizes for the best Halloween costumes, so be prepared to scare.
Event details

Hallowsgate in spooky Suffolk
Spooky Family Halloween fun
Kentwell Hall, Long Melford
Sat 19 Oct to Sun 27 Oct

Immerse yourselves in a magical Halloween world at the legendary Hallowsgate. Explore 7 spooky zones around the Kentwell estate for ghostly Halloween fun, challenges and activities aimed at children from 3-11 years old and their families.

Event details

Spooky fun for Grown-ups at the Award winning ‘Scaresville’ hosted by the historic Kentwell Hall
Every evening in Oct until 02 Nov

Scaresville Haunted Village is East Anglia’s award winning ”top site for fright” and a must do this Halloween. Prepare yourself for pure adrenaline-heightened tension as you journey through dark rooms, across open ground, through haunted forest and gardens for a truly terrifying Halloween experience.
Event Details

Halloween Fun for Children
The Guineas Shopping Centre, Newmarket
Tue 22 Oct 2019
10.30am – 2.30pm

Scientist Dr Dude will amaze youngsters during the half an hour interactive, fun and educational Spooky shows.
Event Details

Zombie Fest (over 18’s only)
The ARK Newmarket, Newmarket
Sat 02 Nov 2019
10:00pm – 5:00am
Event Details

Where are the best ‘Pick Your Own Pumpkin’ events in Suffolk?

Pick your own Pumpkin at Undley Pumpkin Patch, Undley Farm, near Lakenheath. Undley Farm is open weekends and every day during October Half-Term.

Click or tap here for tips on how to carve an awesome pumpkin

And be sure to check out these tips for a deluxe smoking pumpkin version


Speak to the team at Whatley Lane Estate Agents for more ideas on the Best Halloween Events in Suffolk, and if it’s property in Newmarket or Bury St Edmunds you are looking for we would love to help.

Newmarket Racecourses presents the Moët & Chandon July Festival 2019

Moët & Chandon July Festival 11 July – 13 July

Newmarket Racecourses celebrates summer with the Moët & Chandon July Festival – one of the hottest dates in the Racing calendar.  The July Festival is a thrilling 3-day event showcasing world-class horse racing, fashion and musical entertainment.

The highlight on the race track is the prestigious Darley July Cup on Saturday, which is Europe’s leading sprint race; while the fashion highlight is The Style Awards which runs across all three days, starting with Ladies’ Day on Thursday.

Ladies Day – Thursday 11 July

Newmarket Racecourse opens its Gates for Ladies Day attracting visitors from all over the country.  Each beautifully dressed, ready to enjoy a fantastic day at the races and compete in the hotly contested Best Dressed Lady Competition.

Celebrate with family and friends and soak up the racing atmosphere on Feel Good Friday – Friday 12 July

The Style Awards also return on Feel Good Friday. This year the competition is to find the Best Dressed Gentleman and there are some amazing prizes on offer for the best turned out gents who enter.

Half an hour after the last race, the official Après Racing party will begin, hosted by a Heart FM DJ, providing the perfect end to a fantastic day with nothing but “Feel Good”  summer anthems.

Darley Jup Cup Day – Saturday 13 July

Saturday is a great day for families. Under 18s are welcome FREE in all enclosures and as well as live music throughout the course there will be additional free entertainment in the Garden Enclosure, including Rowley’s Kids Club, inflatables, face painting and craft activities to keep everyone entertained during the course of the day.

Contact one of our Whately Lane branches for all our latest properties for dale and rent.







Energy-efficient, sustainable homes in Suffolk

The rise of energy-efficient and sustainable homes

Some 12% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from domestic buildings and the government has declared that by 2020, all homes must be zero carbon.

As the trend for low-cost, Eco-friendly sustainable housing continues to grow we are noticing a step change in the way buyers are searching for property.

Savvy property buyers are looking for properties which have high EPC ratings,  low running costs and integrated with the latest SMART Technology.

Sustainable building materials for new homes

The trend for sustainable homes is driving property developers to  invest in building materials that are more Eco-friendly and cost-effective.  Alternatives to traditional bricks and mortar include Earthbags, sustainable source timber, bamboo and stone.

At Whatley Lane Estate Agent we have some stunning Eco-friendly proprieties for sale in Newmarket.

Eco-Friendly Properties for Sale in Newmarket

Take a look at these fantastic apartments offering highly unique accommodation within The Malt House at The Maltings, Newmarket.

The Malt House apartments have been designed with sustainable, low-cost living in mind. They were built using reclaimed materials and have excellent EPC ratings.  They also come with cycle storage and are within walking distance of Newmarket City Centre.

Sustainable housing in Suffolk

Sustainable homes are on the rise. With the drive to lower carbon emissions and reduce pollution in our towns and cities, property developers are making significant changes to the way in which we design and build new homes. 

By using the natural resources around us such as renewable energy, reclaimed materials and ground source heat pumps, builders have the potential to build 100% sustainable properties. 

Transforming your property into a sustainable, low-cost and energy-efficient home is easier than you think and offers attractive benefits to the future of our planet and to your finances.

If you own a home,  we advise getting an energy performance survey (EPC) done. An EPC can help you identify ways to save money on your energy bills and improve the comfort of your home.

Cost-saving, energy-efficient changes to your home

There are many options available to home owners to convert their property into an Eco-friendly home:

    • Loft insulation helps to prevent warm air escaping
    • Filling cracks and gaps in windows and doors prevents drafts
    • Triple glazing helps to trap warm air. Opt for glazing with a lower U-value, as
      that represents a better thermal performance.
    • Installing A-rated appliances will save you money and reduce emissions
    • Install a SMART Meter to measure energy use for every appliance.
    • Install a thermostat to control internal temperature
    • Increase the amount of natural light – consider installing large windows, sky lights and open-plan living
    • Replace bulbs with low-energy LED’s