Up until recently, buy-to-let landlords could claim a funding exemption requiring them to make their properties more energy efficient. As of 1st April 2018, these rules have changed. If you are running a buy-to-let property, it is important to be aware of these changes, or you could face a fine and additional costs in order to update your properties.
Some landlords may be able to claim government funding in order to help improve the energy efficiency of their properties. Until recently, some landlords were able to claim an exemption so they didn’t have to upgrade to an E rating if they could prove that any improvements they made to a property would leave them out of pocket.
This is no longer the case as the new regulations say improvements need to be made regardless of whether or not a landlord will be left out of pocket. While fees of around £3500 are being quoted, it does depend on the type of property you own. Generally speaking, new builds have been created with energy efficiency in mind; therefore it is usually less expensive in order to fully update them in line with current legislation.
With older properties, this is more difficult, and it is likely they will be on the lower end of the scale. It may be that you need to replace an old boiler or replace older appliances with newer, more energy efficient models. An EPC certificate can last up to ten years (if you are not sure you can check to see if you are on the EPC register so that you can renew your certification if necessary.)
There are some exceptions when it comes to EPCs. For example, if the building is temporary and will only be used for less than two years or if it is holiday accommodation that is used for less than four months of the year, then these regulations are not applicable.
It is important to make sure that your EPC certification is up to date and you are compliant with the regulations. If you do not adhere to this, then you could potentially face a fine of up to £5000. There is also the fact that there are benefits to having more energy efficient properties- tenants are more likely to want a property with up to date utilities, and more energy efficient properties will cost less in terms of energy bills.
We can help
If you are unsure whether or not you need to renew your EPC, need to make changes your property in order to be compliant or how these regulations affect you, we recommend you get in touch with Larcomes. We pride ourselves on giving people the specialist legal advice they need combined with a level of personal customer service they deserve. For more information or to discuss your circumstances in more detail, please contact us and we will be happy to go over what you need in order to stay up to date with the new regulations.