Upgrade Low Ratings Or Face The Fines - New Rules On EPCs

From 1st April, any property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating in band F or G cannot be let out. The property's EPC must be upgraded to at least a band E, or landlord can be fined up to £5k by the local council.

Works to improve the energy performance of a property include installing low energy lighting or loft insulation. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) estimate the average cost for these works is £1,200.

The law is meant to cut tenants' energy bills by up to £180 a year, lower the country's greenhouse gas emissions and increase landlords' property prices.

However, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) said such work would cost landlords £5,800. It also said the cost would cause 20% of landlords with F or G rated properties to sell up, and 51% would be forced to raise rents to compensate.

Commercial landlords have three more years before the same rule comes into force. It is also crucial to ensure certificates such as EPCs and gas safety are served before a tenancy commences - read our recent article to find out why.

For more information about EPCs and the rating requirements click here.

Paul Oldershaw, Commercial Property Solicitor in Norwich at Fosters Solicitors LLP, commented; "Residential landlords must review the EPCs of their property portfolio immediately. It is not worth taking the risk and facing council enforcement. Improvement works can also be a selling point to tenants as the EPC will show their average utility costs will decrease."

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