Ministers move closer to banning rental properties with low EPCs

The clock is ticking for landlords of energy-inefficient properties to make important decisions.

They have potentially less than four years in which to upgrade their stock – or dispose of it.

A new consultation has been launched, stating that the minimum standard for all private rental properties will be an EPC rating of E.

The requirement will apply from April 1, 2018. If a property does not meet the minimum E rating, it will not be possible to let it to tenants.

The requirement is given in the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s two consultations on the Private Rented Sector Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations. One consultation relates to domestic buildings (see first link) and the other to privately rented commercial properties.

The same minimum E rating requirement also relates to privately rented commercial properties.

The consultation is seeking industry reaction to how the proposed regulations will be implemented, which are part of the Government’s plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

The consultation also refers to another deadline, April 1, 2016. From this date, private tenants will be able to ask their landlords for energy efficiency measures, which the landlords will not be able to “unreasonably” refuse.

This is  long, but important documentation for agents and landlords.

On page 50 of the consultation on private rented property, it asks whether there should be a “soft” – ie, phased in – start. The regulations would initially apply to new tenancies but with a “hard backstop” date by which the requirements would have to apply to all tenancies.

The Government suggests that April 1, 2020, would be the date for this “hard backstop”.

On page 51, the consultation goes on to ask whether tenancy renewals should trigger the requirement for compliance.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335827/domestic_prs_regulations_consultation.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335072/Non-Domestic_PRS_Regulations_Consultation.pdf

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9 Comments

  1. MF

    Seems reasonable. At least we're getting proper advance notice on this one.

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  2. Mark Walker

    Until Ministers realise how many rental properties they own with properties under the E rating…

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  3. JungleProperty

    Next stop will be a ban on selling a property with a low energy rating? Th new regulations are full of good intent but like existing legislation I do wonder who, how and when the regulations would be enforced because the current EPC regs are mostly ignored.

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  4. David Cantell

    Energy performance discrimination, EPC’s a census on energy use, are we heading toward window taxes again. The money spent on implementing this legislation would be better spent on housing some of the UK's homeless……

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  5. Woodentop

    I assessed a chocolate box cover cottage. Stunning property and rural scenery. Perfect condition but being 2 feet thick stone built, aga heating (no gas for miles) etc, up a goat track came back with a "G". Not a sign on damp, rewired, plumbing, modern fixtures, fittings and décor with people queuing to get their hands on it ……… Not your neglected shabby property or landlord. Makes a mockery of using EPC ratings to ban poor quality properties.

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    1. MF

      This is a very good point. Exemptions should be available for properties that simply cannot achieve the minimum rating.

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    2. smile please

      Was it listed? as sounds like it may have been. If the case EPC would not have been needed.

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    3. Blue

      +1 re is it listed and therefore exempt from an epc. Also loft insulation, thermostats, energy efficient bulbs, draught proofing all go towards higher ratings. It does not need to be major surgery.

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  6. smile please

    Hmmm sounds good in theory but I think in practise this may open a can of worms. The amount of energy assessors that do not take adequate time in inspecting a property and "assume" certain points is in my experience is quite high. How many EPC's are the wrong banding meaning a higher rating (which could be bad news for the tenant) or a lower rating (meaning bad news for the landlord).
    I am a qualified energy assessor, although I no longer carry out assessments and can the system is open to abuse to lazy or corrupt individuals.
    I also wonder how much longer an EPC will be valid for, will they need a new one every 12 months?

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