Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards
In October we wrote about the Deregulation Act and its implications for landlords intending to serve a section 21 notice on their tenants. Landlords will be prevented from auctioning a section 21 notice if they have not provided their tenant(s) with the necessary information. For more on this topic please follow this link: http://www.fraserbrown.com/article/the-deregulation-act-further-requirements-for-landlords
One of the items included is an up to date EPC. This is to be provided to the tenant free of charge.
In April 2018, new requirements were brought in for landlords who own property with an EPC rating lower than “E”. These landlords are required to take action to improve the energy efficiency of their properties at their own expense. *Some exemptions will apply where it is not economical to make improvements, and there is to be a cap of £3,500.00 so that landlords will not be expected to bear excessive costs.
With the two requirements combined landlords may take the view that there is a choice between a significant fine and prohibition of re-letting for failing to carry out improvement works; or, taking the risk of not updating an EPC, and being unable to provide their tenants with the necessary information for fear that it will reveal essential works that they will be obliged to carry out.
The recommended approach is to ensure that landlords have an up to date EPC and that they carry out works where required to do so. The risk that landlords may be stuck with a tenant they do not want or faced with a fine is one most will wish to avoid.
The responsibility for enforcing the regulations will lie with local Trading Standards offices. If you receive a notice from trading standards, you should not delay in responding to them and should seek advice before doing so.
If you would like to discuss how the regulations will apply to you and your properties or if you have received a notice, please call the Residential Property Team to discuss.