EPC Consultation Update

Recently the Government Department which is responsible for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have started a consultation on the EPC rules for renting private property in England and Wales. Currently a property must have a valid EPC with a rating of “E” or above, or a valid exemption, in order that it can be legally rented.

In line with the Governments pledge to reduce emissions and to end fuel poverty, the consultation is to consider bringing this minimum rating up to a “C” or above for any new rental agreement from 2025 and to existing tenancies by 2028.

The consultation also suggests an increase in the current £3000.00 cost cap (currently you can gain an exemption if required works to improve an EPC would exceed £3000.00) to £10,000.00 meaning that it is possible that some landlords would have to spend up to £10,000 in order to continue renting their property out.

Whilst well intentioned, clearly this is going to have an impact on the private rental sector and may well be the final nail in the coffin for some, especially landlords who are renting out older properties which were built with less efficient materials, insulation and heating systems and who simply cannot afford to improve the property to the required rating. There is also a concern that landlords of properties which do not meet the ratings will sell up, and equally it will mean that investors simply are not interested in purchasing any property without a “C” rating, possibly affecting the value of these properties if they are located in an area where rentals are in high demand.

With this in mind, it may be worth considering taking advantage of the Green Homes Grant we wrote about previously, a scheme which gives vouchers towards the cost of certain energy efficient home improvements, such as low carbon heating systems, insulation or double glazing to replace single glazing. The vouchers can be worth up to £5000.00 towards two thirds of the cost, but the work does need to be carried out by a registered installer and by the 31st March 2021.

The government are welcoming responses to the consultation, which closes on the 30th December 2020, therefore if you feel strongly about, or will be affected by the change please do consider making a response.

The full consultation can be read here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/922667/improving-energy-performance-privately-rented-homes.pdf

And you can respond online at:

www.beisgovuk.citizenspace.com/energy-efficiency/improving-energyperformance-privately-rented-home

Or, in the event, you are unable to do so email to: PRStrajectoryConsultation@beis.gov.uk

They are not accepting postal replies due to the Covid-19 virus.

If you would like to know more about the Green Homes Grant, the link below will take you to the official gov.uk website for this:

https://greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk/

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