EPC property

Buy To Let Landlords: New Energy Upgrade Regulations

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A warm and comfortable home is one of the most important things in life for many people. Therefore, it is no surprise to learn that this is an issue that many tenants complain about to their buy to let landlord. With news that rules are being implemented that will make landlords ensure rental accommodation is warmer and more affordable for tenants to run, many tenants will feel a lot happier about their rental options.

It is believed that this news will impact on 200,000 buy to let landlords in England and Wales if they continue letting out property. The Government is also keen to ensure that all landlords comply with these regulations and they have increased the cost of opting out of these regulations.

It is currently possible for a buy to let landlord to apply for an exemption from these rules if they cannot find any way to increase the minimum energy rating at their property, without incurring a cost. As of 2019, the cap will stand at £3,500.

This move has been welcomed by many

The move has been welcomed by many who have been championing the rights of tenants. The Housing Minister Heather Wheeler released a statement, saying; “I strongly welcome these new measures, which will help improve the coldest homes, protecting tenants whilst also saving them money. This builds on our on-going work to crack down on the small minority of rogue landlords and drive up standards in the private rented sector, including through our reviews of health and safety standards and carbon monoxide alarm requirements in the home.

EPC propertyCurrently, landlords are not allowed to let property which holds the lowest EPC category to new tenants unless they have made improves to the home or they have registered an exemption. There are expectations that the new measure will displace 290,000 rented homes from the minimum EPC category. This is expected to lower energy bills for tenants by around £180, on average, each year. Anything which improves life for tenants, be it by helping them out financially or making a home more comfortable, must be viewed as a positive step.

There are many changes a buy to let landlord can make to a home

It is believed that the average cost of improvements will come in at £1,200 per home. The most recommended improvements for a property include adding loft insulation (or increasing the levels of loft insulation), installing low energy lighting at a home and installing wall or flooring insulation.

Claire Perry is the Energy and Clean Growth Minister and she said; “While most landlords take pride in the properties they own, a minority still rent out housing that is difficult to keep warm. Upgrading these homes so they are more energy efficient is one of the most effective ways to tackle fuel poverty and help bring down bills for their tenants. Everyone should be protected against the cold in their own home and today’s announcement will bring this reality closer.”

There is a need to improve standards in the rental market, but it is also important to not penalise landlords or make them pay too much in a brief period of time. No matter what your position is in the rental market, if you need guidance, I am always happy to help.

I am highly experienced and have assisted many buy to let landlords and tenants, so get in touch for guidance or help.

Matylda Nowak

CEO, Kings Accommodation