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Why YOU may need to upgrade your property’s energy efficiency under new government regulations

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property energy efficiencyIf you’re looking to rent out your properties and they’re not sufficiently energy efficient, you may have to make necessary upgrades in order to make sure they comply with new government regulation.

Ministers are consulting on changes that will mean that owners of properties that fall under the lowest energy efficiency categories will be forced to make sure they’re upgraded as from 2018.

If such legislation were to be introduced, it would likely affect landlords who own properties that were built in the Victorian era and the early twentieth century. This is because much of these buildings have the lowest F or G-rating in the Energy Performance Certificate efficiency scale.  The Department for Energy and Climate Change says 65% of F and G EPC rated private rentals were built pre-1919.

As well as this, by April 2016, tenants would be given the right to request consent to carry out energy efficiency measures, with landlords only able to refuse if this were to be deemed ‘unreasonable’.

Green Deal

Luckily for landlords, they won’t have to pay for the upgrades unless there’s a grant available. A new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund was launched last Wednesday – although most of it has now been allocated.

The deal allowed homeowners to claim up to £4,000 towards the cost of solid wall insulation, or up to £1,600 for other energy saving measures, like double-glazing, draft-proof doors and a new boiler.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change estimates that privately rented properties with a G-rated rating would need to spend on average £1,200 on energy, while those in F-rated properties would need to spend £700 more.

Accidental landlords

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has said that there are some 1.57 million landlords, which is an increase of 120,000 in a year. Some of these are ‘accidental landlords’ who are not always aware of the rules when it comes to letting to tenants or understanding energy efficiency.

The DECC says that the average energy efficiency of privately rented homes has risen over the past 15 years in line with other housing stock, but inadequately-insulated properties still lagged behind.

As well as this, only 19% of tenants have said they’ve seen their property’s energy efficiency certificate – landlords are legally required to provide this certificate or run the risk of being fined. Tenants are also unaware of how much their energy bills are being pushed up as the result of poor efficiency.

If you want to find out what kind of improvements you need, you must check the Energy Performance Certificate Recommendations Report, or get a Green Deal Advice Report. It’s  also worth keeping up to date with all the changes, as you can receive free insulation work and there are lots of funding options available.

Here at Asset Grove we keep our clients up to date with the changes so they don’t have to worry about these things. This ensures they’re able to rent out their properties without hassle as we do all of the difficult things! Why not get in touch and see how we can help you?

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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