Environment, Safety and Standards Regulation and Enforcement

Landlords MUST be ready for changes to EPC rules

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The government has confirmed that changes to EPC rules preventing landlords from renting out inefficient homes WILL be brought in next April.

In a high level meeting the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirmed to the RLA there will be no movement on the implementation date – which is now just eight months away.

As of April 2018, all PRS homes must have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of E or it will be illegal to rent them out. The rule applies to new tenancies and renewals only, but will be extended to existing tenancies by 2020.

This means any homes rated F or G must be improved or taken off the rental market.

With this in mind the RLA is reminding members they need to tackle any issues within their property sooner rather than later or they may have to take it off the market, with real fears that tradesman will struggle to cope with demand for improvements as the deadline approaches.

The government today said it will be publishing specific guidance for landlords in October to clarify the new rules and their obligations.

Despite the deadline bring so close the government has yet to confirm a cap on the amount of money that landlords must spend on improvements, with an initial figure of £5,000 proposed.

However, it has now confirmed that listed buildings will be exempt, on condition that landlords have done as much as they are permitted to, to make them energy efficient. Landlords will need to register their properties online.

Around 330,000 PRS homes are rated F and G and will be affected by the changes – mainly Victorian and Edwardian homes. In total 18% of PRS homes were built before 1919 prior to the introduction of cavity wall, meaning they are hard to insulate.

David Smith, RLA policy director said: “The government has made it abundantly clear that there will be no movement on the April 2018 date so landlords MUST comply with the new legislation and the sooner they act the better.”

The RLA will be updating members with further information as soon as it becomes available.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

4 Comments

  • Thank you for the up-date on the EPC rule changes.
    You mentioned that Listed Buildings would be exempt but that their owners would need to register.
    Could you please let me have contact details of the particular section of the BEIS one would need to write to.
    With thanks in advance

  • The other issue regarding EPCs is that from August 2018 some of the earliest EPCs will be over ten years old and therefore not valid. This should be a concern for landlords seeking possesion at a subsequent date because there is a legal requirement for a valid EPC to be given to the tenant, for this action to succeed. At the moment there seems to be no plan for the EPC Register to flag up the expiry date or indicate when a new EPC is needed.

  • It is all very well to mention this. Our EPC does not expire until 2020 and as we have had a new boiler installed it is not accurate at all. Because of the new expensive regulations involved for Landlords other than the EPC we cannot afford to have a new EPC. Our house is in a very low rental return area, and we adhere to every new regulation. Indeed, it is a long time since we have shown a profit. Where does all this expenditure end?

  • I’m in the process of doing the necessary work. In my opinion (knowing the property as I do – a 1930’s terraced house with solid walls) this work isn’t going to improve the condition of the property or the living conditions. Might make it more economical to heat but will reduce the ventilation and cause more damp related issues.
    What would be helpful would be clear documented standards to work to – AFAICS it’s just subjective and down to the assessor on the day.
    The EPC assessor I’ve spoken with has already told me that the gas fire/stove in the main room will count against me to gain the necessary ‘E’ rating.

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