April 2018 will see the introduction of new government standards in rental properties and energy efficiency. Properties rated F or G for energy efficiency will be banned from the rental market, in a bid to reduce energy use and carbon emissions.
Harry Singh, estate agent at the Henry Wiltshire office in Hayes, welcomes the change in legislation. “We will be very pleased when the new legislation comes into effect next year,” he says. “Tenants should not have to pay over and above the average fuel bill, just because they live in an older property. The environmental impact is significant too. Landlords can improve their properties for a relatively small outlay, reducing both carbon emissions and bills for tenants. We are here to support landlords too, and can arrange EPCs on their behalf.”
Letting property in Hayes
Rental properties in central and inner London are often new build, with correspondingly high energy efficiency. However, in outer London, in areas such as Hayes and Harlington, older buildings are available for rent, and these often come with lower energy efficiency.
Most properties rated F or G have single glazing and lack cavity wall insulation. Some have damp and mould, which make homes more difficult to heat in the winter, and require tenants to use more energy to keep their homes warm. In fact, a poorly-maintained property can cost nearly twice as much per year to heat than the average, well-maintained home.
Legislation for landlords
Research by energy provider E.ON shows that two-thirds of landlords are unaware of the new legislation, even though they have just nine months to bring their properties up to scratch or be banned from letting them.
A factor contributing to this lack of awareness could be that energy performance certificates, once issued, are valid for ten years. They do not have to be renewed when there is a change of tenant or when the property is sold. If your EPC expires, there is no obligation to renew it until the property is next let or sold.
Government guidance on the new legislation can be found here: Download Landlord Guidance from www.gov.uk
What should you do if you are the landlord of an F or G rated property?
The Energy Savings Trust has found that 60% of properties can be brought up to the new legal minimum (E) with an outlay of less than £5000. This could be spent on double glazing, cavity wall insulation, damp proofing or even a new boiler.
You do not have to wait until your current EPC expires before you can get a new one, so if you’ve made improvements, it’s time to contact your local EPC assessor and get a new certificate.
Can landlords apply for grants to help with improvements?
Yes. You can read about the government’s Green Deal scheme here – you may be eligible for support to help you improve the energy efficiency of the property you rent out.
How does this affect buy-to-let mortgages?
Buy-to-let mortgage providers are expected to tighten their criteria as April 2018 approaches, to ensure that properties are not purchased if they are unsuitable for renting. Landlords should energy performance into consideration when purchasing a property.
Find out how Henry Wiltshire can help landlords in the Hayes area
Landlords of F and G rated properties should act now to avoid breaking the law when the new legislation is introduced next year. To find out how Harry and the team can help, contact the Hayes office on 020 3696 5626.