Important notice to all Landlords in Leeds! The regulations set out by the Government's Minimum Energy-Efficiency Standards (MEES) are changing.
Having an EPC Certificate has been a legal requirement for rental properties since 2008. They were introduced to help people better understand how energy efficient their properties are as well as making suggestions on ways to improve upon it. The certificates are valid for 10 years and rate efficiency from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and this new regulation affects those which are on the least efficient end of the scale.
From 1st April 2018, all Landlords with lettings in the UK and Wales are legally obligated to ensure that their privately rented properties have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above; unless legally exempt. If you are Landlords and are found to be renting a property that has an EPC rating lower than the minimum standard, after April 1st 2018, you could face a fixed penalty fine of up to £4,000. So, it's important that you retrofit your property as needed.
The new legislation will be applicable to most new lets and renewals of tenancies within the Private Rental Sector. The regulations will then be extended to all existing properties on 1st April 2020.
I'm a Landlord, what does the new legislation mean for me?
Landlords must make the necessary changes in order to enhance their property's EPC rating if they have ratings that range between E and G. This could mean retrofitting your properties with energy efficient products such as a new boiler, underfloor heating or high performance external doors in order to boost your EPC rating. Undertaking such measures can be expensive to do, however consider it investment, as you may be able to increase your property's worth and consequently the demand for it in the long term. Additionally, with there being talks of the Government raising the minimum EPC rating to a C by 2035, it's not a bad idea to get your properties up to a standard that meets the current requirements now as well as those that are expected to be enforced in the future.
How can I get an EPC for my rented property?
If you are an established Landlord, you may already have an EPC in place. It is a legal requirement for Landlords to provide an EPC as soon as they begin to market their property and these certificates last for a total of 10 years. Be aware that you could face an approximate £200 fine if you fail to provide a valid EPC. You can get an EPC for your property by arranging an appointment with a domestic energy assessor who will come conduct an inspection of the household and you can find a local assessor the EPC website.
If we are letting your property for you we always ensure that you have all the correct documentation in place before putting your property on the market and can help you arrange an EPC along with other neccessary certificates.
I'm a Tenant, what does the new legislation mean for me?
The new legislation has been put into place by the Government to reduce "fuel poverty" which refers to the state of being unable to adequately heat one's home. The Government hopes that the new legislation will provide Tenants with more comfortable and energy efficient living standards, as the new requirements will hopefully reduce our carbon footprint and lower household energy wastage. The legislation also aims to create a wider awareness of the importance of energy-efficient living and hopes to encourage Tenants to consider the EPC ratings of properties before they agree to rent them. Being more informed could also work in your favour financially, as you may be able to challenge Landlords' prices if their properties have a lower EPC rating. Additionally, reduced energy wastage could enable you to make huge savings!
How can I access my home's Energy Performance Certificate?
You should be able to access your home's EPC online on the EPC Register, where you can also access the certificates of other homes.
The new legislation marks the Government's aim to progress into a more energy-efficient way of life. So, if you're a Landlord or Tenant in Leeds, it would be wise to start deliberating whether or not your home is energy-efficient enough and consider what you can do to improve.