Landlords face big fines under new energy rules

 In News

Landlords letting out a house or a commercial property to a tenant from next April could face fines of thousands of pounds if they do not meet new energy requirements, warns a Midlands green energy expert.

Under the Department for Energy & Climate Change’s tighter rules rented buildings will have to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) minimum rating of E before they can be let to occupiers or even to renew an existing tenancy, said Ron Fox, of Noreus Ltd at Keele, Staffordshire.

At the moment the EPC gives a premises an energy efficiency rating from the highest level of A to the lowest G, which is required when a building is constructed, sold or let.

“This will have a huge impact on commercial and rented properties from April 1, 2018, and landlords should be preparing for these changes now rather than leaving it to the last minute,” said Ron.

The reason for the change was that buildings account for 43% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions and the move will help the Government reach its target of reducing the effects of climate change by 2030.

But he warned that statistics showed that at least 18% of commercial property would not meet these mandatory criteria and would be breaking the law from next spring.

In December 2016, the Energy Performance of Building registers for England & Wales reported that 32% of commercial buildings were rated as low as E, F or G and only 12% achieved a rating of A+, A or B in the last quarter of 2016.

Ron also said that when then EPCs were introduced, under the Energy Performance Building Directive (EPBD), the shortage of assessors meant that many buildings were given an estimated EPC rating so some landlords may have been given a falsely favourable reading.

“Building owners and managers have under five months to find out what their EPC rating is and if necessary, put measures into place to make sure the government target is met and help reduce the UK’s carbon footprint,” he said.

“The easiest way to make sure properties are more energy efficient and comply with the new requirements is by improving insulation and lighting systems, two moves which will significantly improve the EPC rating.”

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were introduced in England and Wales on August 1, 2007, as part of Home Information Packs (HIPs) for domestic properties with four or more bedrooms and over time this requirement was extended to smaller properties.

To get an EPC landlords need to book an assessor who will visit the property, examine key items such as loft insulation, domestic boiler, hot water tank, radiators, windows for double glazing, and  input the details into a software program which calculates the property’s energy efficiency and makes any recommendations for improvement.

Any landlords wanting more help and advice about these changes should call Ron, who has a team of experts in Staffordshire, Shropshire and Mid Wales, on 0845 474 6641 or go to www.noreus.co.uk

Caption: Landlord John Butterworth pictured with the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) minimum rating of E which be needed for all rented homes and commercial properties next April

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