Time is running out for landlords to ensure their properties meet new energy efficiency standards. On April 1, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards is being introduced whereby landlords and letting agents must make sure properties being let to new tenants or renewal of contracts meet an energy efficiency rating of at least E. From April 1, 2020, the regulation will cover existing tenancies too. This mainly affects older buildings which are not as energy efficient as newer ones. Landlords who do not comply with the new regulations could face a penalty of up to £4,000 as well as being unable to let their property.
Beat the minimum requirements
Figures estimate that about 8% of privately rented properties will fall below this minimum rating. Although some properties are exempt from the certification, many will need to be upgraded to meet the new requirements. Indeed, landlords are being urged to look to the future and make sure their properties will meet a rating of C or above as it is believed the bar may be raised in the next few years.
The exemptions, which will only last up to five years, include where the EPC rating stays below E even after cost-effective improvements have been made; the improvements would reduce the property by more than 5%, or consents for improvements are denied.
Carry out inspections
Landlords should carry out checks to see where improvements could be made. As well as making sure the property is well insulated, they can also make sure it is draught proof. Double glazed windows will also make a big difference to the energy bills because the windows trap more heat inside the rooms – https://www.moneysupermarket.com/money-made-easy/ten-steps-to-improve-energy-efficiency-at-home/.
They come in a variety of styles, colours and materials, so you can find windows to suit your property. If investing in new windows, it could be a good time to change the doors so that they are more efficient and draught proof. You can find a great range at a double glazing company in Gloucester such as https://www.firmfix.co.uk/.
Decent loft insulation can save £160 a year on energy bills as it stops heat escaping through the roof. Whilst carrying out the checks, take a look at the boiler, as inefficient units can add £200 or more to the energy bills each year.