The new rules concerning minimum energy efficiency standards come into force this month. Rental properties will need a minimum EPC rating of E. The rules cover all new lets and renewals and will be extended to all existing tenancies in April 2020.
The exemption register is currently open – and revised software to be used by assessors to calculate EPCs is now being used following a campaign by the RLA over ratings for solid wall homes.
David Princep, the RLA’s health and safety consultant, says: “If you have a low EPC, applying for an exemption should really be your last resort. Any exemption registered on the database triggers an automatic email to the relevant local authority, informing them that the premises is F or G band. The local authority could then take action under the housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) to force the landlord to carry out improvements works to remedy a cold hazard, with HHSRS unaffected by the exemption register. In short, you may have to do the works anyway.”
It is recommended that landlords whose premises are below a band C consider undertaking all cost- effective energy improvements whenever undertaking major refurbishment or significant works at their properties.
Those with band E premises should look carefully at their premises and carry out any less disruptive and cost effective works as soon as they can and they consider scheduling in other energy refurbishments over the medium term.
Landlords with an F band whose rental properties are of solid wall construction should consider undertaking a new EPC assessment once the software is upgraded.