With the new minimum energy efficiency standards coming in soon, more and more questions relating to EPCs are coming up for the Landlord Advice Team.
From April 1st 2018, landlords will not be allowed to rent out properties with an EPC rating of less than E, if they are required to have an EPC.
This is fine for many landlords but some properties may never be able to reach an E rating, no matter how much the landlord may want to.
Our member called this week to discuss a property with an F rating.
As a grade II listed building, the landlord was unsure as to whether the property was caught by the EPC legislation and concerned that it would not be able to meet the E rating standard if it could.
The landlord was keen to get an answer on these questions as his current tenants loved the property and he did not want to have to evict them in 2018 when the new legislation comes into force.
Firstly, we cleared up how he could retain the tenants after the legislation comes into force in 2018.
From April 1st 2018 the legislation is only triggered when a tenancy is granted, replaced or extended.
As his tenants were already in the property and their statutory periodic tenancy was to start before April 1st next year, the landlord could simply leave that contract running and he would not be obliged to make any changes until 2020.
RLA members should be aware that unlike statutory periodic tenancies, contractual periodic continuations are part of the original tenancy and so not extensions or replacements to the original tenancy.
As such, any tenancy granted before April 1st 2018, using our 2017 AST, will not need to comply with the minimum energy efficiency standards until a new tenancy is granted.
Secondly, we dealt with the listed buildings query.
It is widely believed that all listed buildings are exempt from the EPC regulations, however the reality is it is very unclear due to the poor drafting of the legislation.
As our caller already had one he was best to assume that he did in fact require an EPC for this property. At least until the government clears up the confusion around this area.
Finally we looked at what would happen after 2020.
Luckily for the landlord he had bought the property back in 2009.
The EPC had been obtained at that point so it was set to expire in 2019. The legislation only requires you have an EPC when you let or sell the property.
As a result, it stands to reason that there is no need to get a new one until you have to offer a new contract.
The landlord could allow this EPC to expire in 2019, and simply not get a new one until his tenants left.
Of course, we also advised the landlord that as soon as his tenants did leave the property he should call us back to discuss what he needed to do next.
Rupinder Aujla, LAT manager said “It’s great that we could assist this member with their query. However, many landlords will not be able to fall back on this option if their properties are below and E rating and they should be planning ahead, like this member, for the implementation of this legislation.”