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Minimum EPC Rating Legislation for landlords


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Thanks Alex.

 

I've found the government consultation doc but couldn't tell if it had been passed as a piece of legislation and frustratingly can't find a detailed overview of the new rules and exemptions. As an owner of several leasehold, warehouse conversion flats (loft ones to boot!) I'm hoping the criteria will be sensible. 

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Au Contrare it is very much alive and is only the start!

In fact in  just two years’ time – April 2018 – it will be illegal to start a new tenancy if a property has an EPC rating of F or G

Also 2018 is the start of EPCs having to be reassessed as they became a requirement in Oct 2008 and last for 10 years and so you will need to schedule re-surveys and if this is the case you would be wise to get the improvements done to get over the thresholds listed below as there is an incremental improvement schedule.  Indeed at present your tenant can ask to make energy efficiency improvements themselves and unless you have very good reasons (eg Grade II listing or consevation area criteria etc) you are not legally able to stop them.

Then

By April 2020, the minimum requirement of an EPC rating of E or better will apply to all existing let out properties so that  you have until Apr 2020 to get all of your properties up to this standard

Then

By April 2025 all rental properties will have to have an EPC rating of D or above.

Then

By Aprill 2030, the government have currently set the energy efficiency target that all rental properties have to be at least an EPC rating of C .

 

So time is short and it is highly likely that the  rating goal posts will become harder to achieve.

 

So, what can you (or your tenants) do to help your property fit the bill and improve your EPC rating?

  • Replace any non-double glazed windows and or old sealed units with modern A rated windows
  • Fit seals to external doors to help keep the chill out, change any wooden doors with new PVCu doors
  • Fill gaps in floorboards and skirting with beading or sealant
  • Fit a decent jacket around your hot water tank or replace with a fully lagged tank
  • Ensure that lofts and wall cavities are insulated to at least the latest standard of 270mm
  • If replacing your boiler is getting old plan to replace and fit to an energy efficient, condensing boiler.
  • Fit TRV (Thermostatic Rad Valves) to all radiators
  • Fit zone thermostats
  • Change old style electric storage heaters (if fitted) with the latest fan assisted heaters which have significantly better energy rating
  • Replace any supplied appliances for tenants with those that have the Energy Saving Recommended logo or are rated as near to A rating as is financially practical.
  • Get cavity wall insulation installed or get dry lining with insulation
  • Use energy saving light bulbs such as LEDs

If you are doing any work that is not blatently obvious I would get before and after photos showing exactly what has been done or even better get Building Control to sign off the work carried out as EPC assessors who do the basic EPC cert (tencnically called an EPC rd = reduced data) thave a very limited time to make their survey - they are only £30 - £50 for the whole issue and are permitted to make lots of assumptions and make the worst case scenario of what they see.  If they cannot quickly prove work your efforts will be in vain.  If you are dry lining with 70mm of Kingspan etc find a way of proving it has been done and keep receipts.

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Thanks for all that information Tim. I am waiting to hear back from a solicitor as have yet to see a comprehensive detailing of the new legalisation on a Government website - and certainly no reference to the 2025 changes, save for a few unofficial websites.

 

My initial research this week suggests it will be quite a complex issue for leasehold flats in period conversions and won't be as cut and dry for landlords where the scope to improve a property is limited by the nature of the building and leasehold restrictions. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am an EPC assessor who does around 30 assessments per week. I thought it would be helpfu if I add to what Tim has said if you want the best possible score on your EPC - see my comments in red.

Au Contrare it is very much alive and is only the start!

In fact in  just two years’ time – April 2018 – it will be illegal to start a new tenancy if a property has an EPC rating of F or G

Also 2018 is the start of EPCs having to be reassessed as they became a requirement in Oct 2008 and last for 10 years (you need to get one re-issued every time you change tennant as well) and so you will need to schedule re-surveys and if this is the case you would be wise to get the improvements done to get over the thresholds listed below as there is an incremental improvement schedule.  Indeed at present your tenant can ask to make energy efficiency improvements themselves and unless you have very good reasons (eg Grade II listing or consevation area criteria etc) you are not legally able to stop them.

Then

By April 2020, the minimum requirement of an EPC rating of E or better will apply to all existing let out properties so that  you have until Apr 2020 to get all of your properties up to this standard

Then

By April 2025 all rental properties will have to have an EPC rating of D or above.

Then

By Aprill 2030, the government have currently set the energy efficiency target that all rental properties have to be at least an EPC rating of C .

 

So time is short and it is highly likely that the  rating goal posts will become harder to achieve.

 

So, what can you (or your tenants) do to help your property fit the bill and improve your EPC rating?

  • Replace any non-double glazed windows and or old sealed units with modern A rated windows The rating doesn't matter unless you have a document showing the "U-value.' If they are good new windows have a document showing the U-value rating ready for the assessor. Otherwise if the windows have a datestamp on them telling saying they are post or during 2003 they will get a good rating. Secondary glazed is obviously better than sing glazed also, which is what may need to get done in conservation areas where your not allowed to upgrade the windows
  • Fit seals to external doors to help keep the chill out, change any wooden doors with new PVCu doors Changing the doors wont make a difference unless once again you have a document stating the u-value and show it to the assessor. Also if the door is more than 60% glazed it won't count as it will just go down as a window.
  • Fill gaps in floorboards and skirting with beading or sealant. Wouldn't make a difference to EPC. Underfloor insulation makes a good difference but the assessor has to be able to go under the floor and measure it. Its unlikely the assessor will do that unless there is a big basement.
  • Fit a decent jacket around your hot water tank or replace with a fully lagged tank -Spot on. The maximum the assessor can record is 160mm of insulation around the tank, makes a small difference.
  • Ensure that lofts and wall cavities are insulated to at least the latest standard of 270mm - Spot on
  • If replacing your boiler is getting old plan to replace and fit to an energy efficient, condensing boiler. Spot on
  • Fit TRV (Thermostatic Rad Valves) to all radiators Spot on
  • Fit zone thermostats Spot on
  • Change old style electric storage heaters (if fitted) with the latest fan assisted heaters which have significantly better energy rating Spot on although electricity for heating will always have a very negative effect on your EPC. Oil, LPG and Mains gas always are better.
  • Replace any supplied appliances for tenants with those that have the Energy Saving Recommended logo or are rated as near to A rating as is financially practical. Doesn't effect EPC, not taken into account
  • Get cavity wall insulation installed or get dry lining with insulation Spot on, cavity wall makes a huge difference however the assessor needs to be able to see proof it has been done. Drill holes in the walls is usually adequate. 
  • Use energy saving light bulbs such as LEDs. Spot on

If you are doing any work that is not blatently obvious I would get before and after photos showing exactly what has been done or even better get Building Control to sign off the work carried out as EPC assessors who do the basic EPC cert (tencnically called an EPC rd = reduced data) thave a very limited time to make their survey - they are only £30 - £50 for the whole issue and are permitted to make lots of assumptions and make the worst case scenario of what they see.  If they cannot quickly prove work your efforts will be in vain.  If you are dry lining with 70mm of Kingspan etc find a way of proving it has been done and keep receipts.

 

Great original post by Tim and hope my additional comments help too.

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Allan

Thanks for your assessor input all good but one item - you categorically DO NOT need to have the EPC re-assessed on change of tenancy.  The 10 year expiry is good for ALL tenancies and sales during this period.  You can even use an unfavourable EPC after you have had any upgrade work done but you the landlord could be losing potential tenants as the property looks to be more expensive to run than it actually is.  If the rating is below the upcoming new thresholds then you will need to get the assessment work done to be in compliance by those dates.  

Interestingly, up until very recently hardly any viewers were either interested in or even looked at an EPC,but it is increasingly commented on and I have l have lost tenants who were looking at properties that had a legacy old EPC but the landlord had not changed for an upgraded one usually on cost grounds.  They do not seem to realise that an EPC is usually less than 2 - 3 days rent which is easily lost in a void time.

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  • 11 months later...

Evening all - I have just recently renewed an EPC certificate on a 2 bed mid-terrace in Derby.  I used a local assessor who did a great job, took his time, asked relevant questions and charged £50.00.   I believe the time is fast approaching where having an Energy Assesor as part of your 'key property team' is becoming as important as having a plumber, gas engineer and an electrician.  Establishing this relationship early can help you obtain sound advice and plan/budget accordingly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Would EPC certs have come with the property when you purchase them?

 

mine were bought from owner occupiers and not landlords. 

 

i will be checking the paperwork when i get home but wanted some background. 

 

also if you do an EPC assessment and it is below the required level is it standard practice for the assessor to do the next assessment for free or is it usually chargeable again?

 

lastly its mentioned in one of the posts above you need to get a new EPC cert each time you change tenant - this seems ridiculous. if the EPC rating of C of  is granted this week and tenant leaves next week (or even a few months down the line) it isn't suddenly going to be  a different rating is it? i doubt the tenant will take the windows with them.

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Hi Dil Rai,

 

If you have bought the property(s) recently then you should have received copies of the EPC certs as since 1 August 2007 it has been a legal requirement to have an EPC to sell a house. Makes no difference who you bought the house(s) from.

 

If EPC is below requirements there is no automatic ‘free’ recheck.

 

There is no legal requirement to get a new EPC when you change tennant. An EPC lasts for 10 years and then you have to renew - simple.

 

Tip for if you cannot find your paper EPC copies visit www.epcregister.com

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Dil Rai hi

 

your solicitor should not have permitted purchase without an EPC but there is no threshold for selling so it could be F or G rated and just be a statement of it’s assessed energy efficiency. As stated above you can obtain it free of charge from the open source EPC Register. Depending on when your vendors purchased the property will determine how long before the next is due if it is E or better so you do need to keep an eye on retest dates. 

You can get an idea of what you need to do to improve the rating by reading into the weeds of the full certificate. If you are retesting look to get the best efficiency you can as an E rating will need upgrading to D by 2025 so it might be prudent to get work done in one shot rather than scrape an E rate & then do more work for D or better. 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 01/09/2016 at 9:44 PM, tim wragby said:

 

So time is short and it is highly likely that the rating goal posts will become harder to achieve.

 

 

This is what concerns me the most on the EPC issue, we have several properties in the portfolio which are E rated. With improvements we have done over the last few years when they come up for reassessment I would hope they reach their potential C rating. But if the assessment standards have changed over the last 10 years will they ever be C rated?

 

 

On 26/09/2016 at 10:33 AM, allan gray said:

I am an EPC assessor who does around 30 assessments per week. I thought it would be helpfu if I add to what Tim has said if you want the best possible score on your EPC - see my comments in red.

 

 

 

 

Hopefully Allen will comment on this.

 

 

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thanks for your reply tim.

 

i chased (asked the missus to chase) the estate agents. just hit them with their responsibility of shouldnt have sold a house without an EPC quite sternly. gave them the option of getting it done for me now or face a complaint to the estate agent body. they accepted they will get the EPCs done.  

 

result.

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Hey Guys!

 

Would appreciate some advice.

 

When a property has an EPC of E but potential for C, does this imply less work to improve the EPC as it's current potential is C, as opposed to one that had rating of D and potential is a slight improved D grading.

 

TIA

 

J

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