With new standards on rental properties now in effect, landlords are working hard to ensure theirs are meeting the regulations on self-contained flats and houses.
Those that do not could face fines of up to £5,000, unless their property meets the new minimum requirements on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).
What exactly are EPCs?
Energy Performance Certificates, better known as EPCs, let you know how energy efficient a property is. These are colour coded and resemble the sticker you often see attached to appliances such as fridges and freezers. These range from the most efficient “A” rating to the least efficient “G”rating.
EPCs will help a prospective tenant assess the financial running costs of renting a property, including estimates of energy use, fuel costs and CO2 emissions. As of last month, all rental properties must have an EPC rating of “E” or above.
How can landlords make improvements?
If a property is not up to standard, an Energy Assessor will make recommendations to improve thehome’s efficiency. EPC ratings only consider permanent fixtures, so although draught excluders willhelp keep heat in, it won’t count towards your EPC.
A really big contributor to a good EPC rating. If your property was built after 1920, it will likely have cavity walls, which means that as well as loft insulation, you may be able to install insulation inside the walls.
If your property does not have double glazing, this could have a major impact on its EPC rating. Installing double glazing can drastically cut energy bills, by preventing heat lost through windows.
Installing a new, energy efficient boiler in the property can greatly affect the EPC rating of a property. This is especially the case if the boiler is over a decade old.
You may be considering moving to newer, renewable sources of energy for your property. The most common form is solar panels, which can allow the property to store energy, contributing to an improved EPC rating.
Some landlords have been using thermal cameras, to see where and how heat is escaping. With new technology available, it is now possible to purchase an attachment for your smart phone to have an instant thermal camera at your fingertips.
Future proofing your property
Landlords who make improvements to their property’s EPC rating could do more than meet the new standards. Having a property with a strong EPC rating will also help it stand out from the crowd, as tenants look to rent an energy efficient home to save costs.
If you are considering making changes to improve your EPC rating, it is always worth seeking professional advice. We work closely with lenders, so we can talk through your plans to make sure the changes do not affect your mortgage in any way.