At LetBritain we’re working hard to keep landlords in Britain up to date with the latest legislation and developments they need to know. Yes, we’ve left the outdated high street lettings model behind and become a pioneering member of the new online letting agents movement – but that doesn’t mean we’re any less committed to delivering a great service.
As part of our commitment, this week, we’re offering a reminder to landlords of a recent government announcement concerning your obligations to improve the energy efficiency of your rental properties.
As of April 2018, landlords who rent their property to new tenants will be legally required to ensure that the property has an energy efficiency rating of ‘E’ or higher. The new regulations were published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in October.
For now, the legislation focuses on new tenancies. But the regulations will be extended to landlords of existing tenancies by 2020. Furthermore, the department has indicated its desire to have all homes upgraded to a C rating by 2030.
As the cold weather closes in and we all start to rely on our heating that bit more, it’s worth delving into these changes in a bit more detail.
The government has stated that tenants in low energy-rated properties spend significantly more on energy bills than those in high energy-rated properties. According to figures given in The Telegraph, in the private rented sector, over a third of tenants are reportedly unable to afford their fuel costs; a figure which rises to 45 per cent for tenants in F and G rated properties.
The real problems arise due to the fact that energy bills for tenants of F and G rated properties are significantly higher than those at the A and B end of the scale.
If your property or properties already have an energy efficiency rating of E or above, then you are already compliant. If, however you are the landlord of any number of properties rated F or G, the energy efficiency of these properties must be improved to at least an E rating.
If new tenants move in any time after the first of April 2018, these ratings must be improved before the property can be offered for rent. If your current tenants plan to remain in the property, improvements do not need to be made until 2020.
The legislation applies to all properties, regardless of how many you own. If a landlord owns 50 G-rated houses, then all 50 will have to be updated before the relevant deadline. Certain listed buildings, monuments and temporary buildings are eligible for exemptions.
The penalties aren’t cheap. The maximum penalty for non-compliance is capped at £5,000 per property. For tenancies shorter than three months, the cap is £2,000, and anything over a tenancy of three months is liable for a fine of up to £4,000.
Either situation is liable to an additional £1,000 fine if there is evidence of misinformation or deceit.
If your tenancy is coming to an end in the next few months, the energy efficiency legislation change is one more thing you’ll need to resolve before you rent the property again. Try not to put things off. If you start planning the renovations sooner rather than later you’ll be able to keep the void period to an absolute minimum.
When you’re back up and running and ready to let your property again, LetBritain will be here to help. As a professional online letting agent, LetBritain can help you reach new tenants without the hassle and high charges of a high street estate agent.
Contact Us today to find out more about our landlord services.