Landlords in England and Wales are being urged to bring their F and G rated properties up to the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), or run the risk of being banned from letting them when the new legislation is introduced in April 2018.
With just nine months to go, landlords must ensure that their properties are compliant with the new regulations, which will see landlords banned from granting new tenancies on rental homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below E from 2018.
Industry estimates show that as many as 700,000, or one in six, rental properties could fail the new Government standards, which aim to cut energy bills and carbon emissions.
Landlords must also be aware that the MEES will apply to all tenancies (including those with existing tenants) by April 2020.
Many landlords are unaware that their properties could fall below the new requirements, however. Recent research from E.ON shows that around two thirds of buy-to-let landlords lack awareness of the new MEES.
EU data shows that UK homes are some of the most expensive to heat in Europe, mainly due to poor maintenance and insulation. It claims that over ten million British families live in a home with a leaking roof, damp walls or rotting windows. Meanwhile, damp, condensation and mould are big problems in many rental properties, as a result of older, single-glazed homes.
The Managing Director of Armistead Property, Peter Armistead, comments: “This legislation will have a significant impact on landlords with older, draughty properties. It is estimated that around one million tenants are paying as much as £1,000 a year more for heating than the average annual bill of £1,265. These excessive costs are mainly down to poorly insulated homes.
“In some cases, landlords will only have to make small tweaks, while others may require more substantial work. The main improvements include solid or cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, heating, draught-proofing, double-glazing, and renewable energy generation, such as solar panels or heat pumps.”
He also explains: “Buy-to-let mortgage providers will also require borrowers to comply with the regulations, and valuers are likely to amend their criteria in the run up to 2018, making buy-to-let mortgage applications more difficult.
“As a matter of urgency, agents and landlords that are currently renting out F and G rated properties should be reviewing the improvements that can be made and seeking help that is available through the Government’s Green Deal.”
Landlords, have you thought about what you can be doing now to improve your properties and avoid the ban?