Landlords could face financial penalties, and be unable to rent their properties if they do not meet minimum energy efficiency standards that will come into force in 2018.
Law firm Maples Teesdale warned that the new standards reflect a ticking time bomb that could have a huge impact on rental income and property values if they are not addressed.
By 1st April 2018, all relevant properties in the non-domestic minimum energy efficiency regulations for England and Wales must be improved to a minimum standard before being let to tenants.
Additional tenant energy efficiency improvement regulations will be brought in by 1st April 2016, meaning that renters can request energy efficiency measures to their rental property, which cannot be unreasonably refused by the landlord.
A partner at Maples Teesdale, Neil Sagoo, says: “These regulations are likely to have a big impact on the private rented sector. They are presenting a straightforward ultimatum: bring your properties up to scratch in terms of energy efficiency, or risk losing income.”
For landlords who do not bring their property up to the minimum standard, consequences could be severe. Financial penalties will be applied, potentially involving the rent earned during the landlord’s breach and possibly a tribunal that could force landlords to make the required alterations.
Sagoo explains: “This means that landlord’s can no longer pay lip service to energy efficiency. Whereas it was once a worthy aspiration, it is becoming as fundamental as fire safety or building regulations, and is to be ignored at your peril.”1
After a brief consultation at the end of 2014, the Government has suggested that it hopes to have the regulations in place before the general election in May. It is likely that the implementation of the minimum standards will follow in stages, coming into effect on all new lettings from April 2018, and for existing lettings from April 2023.
The consultation document can be found at: https://goo.gl/AcHDEG