Landlords must check out new energy regulations

Landlords should all be aware of the need to ensure their rental properties comply with new energy regulations, now that legislation details have been confirmed.The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards regulations will come into force on April 1, meaning properties must achieve a minimum of an E rating in an Energy Performance Certificate, or landlords will be unable to start a new lease or extend an existing one.“There are still some areas of the regulations that require clarification, however some details have been confirmed and we have put together a comprehensive guide to help landlords ensure compliance,” said Michael Cook, lettings managing director at Romans.“We are also pleased to have teamed up with Vibrant, the UK’s largest supplier of EPCs and related services, to help landlords stay ahead of the new regulations.”It is advised that the best course of action for landlords who already hold an EPC rated between A and E, is to ensure it is kept up to date, so a tenancy can be renewed or your property re-let when required.Software that was used to produce EPCs has become increasingly accurate over recent years and now provides a much wider scope of analysis.It is expected that many properties assessed as an E category prior to 2012 will now fall into an F or G category and require re-assessment and possible work to be carried out.For landlords whose properties do not currently boast an A-E rated EPC, the best course of action is to order a ‘desktop MEES’ through Vibrant.This will help to ascertain what needs to be done to ensure you comply with the regulations, or advise if your property can be exempt.Mr Cook said: “Many properties, particularly older ones dating back to the early part of the 20th century, do not currently have an E rating or higher.“This will make it difficult for some landlords to start new tenancies on them or to extend an existing lease, providing they do not qualify for an exemption from the rules.“The penalties for breaking these new regulations are severe – a £4,000 fixed penalty notice will be served on those who continue to let a non-compliant property for more than three months.“But if landlords act now they can avoid getting into hot water.“If you think your property may be exempt you can register it and, if approved, it will be subject to a re-application every five years.”

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