EPCs Set To Change – Now’s The Time To Get Ahead.

4th Apr 2023
Matthew Smith

With the UK’s long-term strategy to meet net-zero carbon emissions clearly in focus, we look at what Landlords need to know and do, in order to be compliant to the new EPC regulations, and to make their properties more energy efficient. 

EPC ratings were introduced in England and Wales in 2008/09 to provide a standardised certification for a property’s energy usage. Working alongside the EPC rating is the MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard). These energy efficiency requirements were introduced by the UK Government for properties when they’re built, sold, or rented, and are intended to improve the energy efficiency of both residential and commercial private rented property. For Landlords, it is now unlawful for a domestic property to be let without a MEES rating.

Under new rules, set to come into play in England and Wales in 2025, Landlords of privately tenanted properties will need to ensure that their rental property scores at least an EPC of C in order to let it out on a new assured tenancy. This roadmap to 2025 has been mapped out by key milestones, the first of which came into play in 2018 and stipulated that a Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard of E must be applied to any new lease and for the renewal of existing leases.

Not having an EPC rating that meets the MEES requirements could result in hefty fines for the landlord.

Recent research into EPCs showed that only six in ten landlords have properties in their portfolio with a rating of E or above, meaning that with the planned change to an even higher requirement of C or above, 38% of landlords own properties which would require improvements. This could mean that essential works are required to your properties to ensure that their EPC rating is in line with the new minimum standards. These changes can be as simple as switching to energy efficient light bulbs or providing smart meters. No matter the change, we’re here to assist and advise every step of the way as your current (or prospective) Managing Agent.

Now, that’s the key information out of the way, let’s look at the benefits of improving your buy-to-let property’s EPC rating. With the recent rise in the cost of living, and energy prices continually increasing, more and more tenants are becoming savvy with energy efficiency, so by adding key features such as smart meters and energy efficient boilers you instantly become more attractive in the current saturated marketplace.

How might these changes affect your mortgage I hear you ask… Simple, the better your EPC rating, the more likely you are to access a better mortgage deal.

So, what’s next? Here’s where we come in. Landlord Compliance and Tenant safety is our number one priority, and, as members of ARLA Propertymark, the UK’s foremost professional and regulatory body for Letting Agents, we have a clear understanding of the regulations and what it takes to be compliant. What’s more, we have a database of fully qualified contractors who offer a whole host of skills, from light bulb swaps right through to boiler changes and window enhancements, all of which play a key role in the energy efficiency of your property. We are therefore best placed to arrange and manage your Energy Performance Certificate and take care of what needs to happen with the report afterwards.

Our advice? Contact us to start the process now. It’s better to have any changes planned now as the further down the line we get, the higher the demand for contractors, the higher the price of works and the lower the availability.

We're busy making plans for our fully serviced Landlords to ensure they're fully compliant when the deadline comes, and can make use of our little black book of contacts in plenty of time. Although if you have any questions, please get in touch with your Property Manager.