20 February 2015, New energy efficiency requirements for homes in the private rented sector are creating a fitness regime rather than completely removing some homes from the sector.
Lisa Simon, head of lettings for Carter Jonas, says reports that properties in EPC Bands F and G would become restricted from letting are wide of the mark.
Publication by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) of the Private Rented Sector Energy Efficiency Regulations (Domestic), which sets out the views of the Government on proposals for energy efficiency in the private rented sector (PRS), led to immediate reports that properties with EPC ratings placing them in Bands F and G could doomed.
But the document gives landlords the option of registering for exemption, allowing them to continue letting the homes, in circumstances where they cannot be modernised economically.
From April 1, 2016, domestic tenants will have the right to request consent to make energy efficiency improvements. The minimum energy efficiency standard applied to all categories of domestic private rented property will be set at E energy performance. From April 1, 2018, the regulations will apply to new tenancies, extending from April 1, 2020, to all privately rented property within the scope of the regulations.
“Crucially, there is the ability for landlords to provide evidence to the ‘PRS Exemptions Register’ and local authorities may be able to use it for enforcement activity,” explains Mrs Simon.
“The previous ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’ that applied if the cost of upgrading the property was greater than the financial benefits to be gained from the upgrade still applies. There will be specific circumstances under which a landlord can refuse consent for the tenant to implement energy efficiency measures.
“The recent fall in oil prices, and the hope that domestic energy prices will follow, might damage prospects of matching energy efficiency costs with fuel bill savings in the short term. Energy prices will inevitably rise again in tandem with technology improving to make energy efficiency more easily achievable at affordable costs.
“While nobody will get away with using the regulations for letting seriously sub-standard property, far from being a portent of doom for domestic rental properties in Bands F and G the proposals are a long term fitness regime for the less able to be brought up to peak physical performance - with the proviso that those who can’t won’t necessarily be relegated to the scrap heap.”
You can find out the details of the legislation by clicking here.