Will the new energy rules make it illegal to rent your property in 2023?

man holding clipboard and penIf you have been a landlord since 2018 or earlier, you will know that the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rules have been in a constant state of review for some years now, in an attempt to make UK homes more energy-efficient.

Back in 2018, landlords were required to present an EPC rating of E or above in order to legally let out their property on a new lease.

Now, a further tightening of EPC rules has been announced, meaning that landlords may have to make changes to their properties to remain within the law.

These new rules have been set out as part of the UK government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

The new EPC rating rules for rental properties

Here is a step-by-step guide to the new EPC rating rules.

  • Your buy-to-let property will need to receive an EPC rating of E or above by 1 April 2023, even if your property is mid-lease.
  • By 1 April 2025, all properties under both new and ongoing leases will need to obtain an EPC rating of C or above in order to be let out legally.
  • In order to achieve a better EPC rating, your property may need to undergo renovations to become more energy-efficient.

Depending on the nature and scale of the required renovations, this could be a costly update that may present you with financial concerns as a buy-to-let property owner. As a result, your buy-to-let property might not be as profitable in the coming years.

You may need to obtain a new EPC rating before April 2023

If you have a property that you are currently leasing out, or one that you plan to lease out in the future, it will need to receive an EPC rating of E or above by April 2023. You can reach out to a domestic assessor in your area to obtain a new certificate.

If this property receives a rating lower than C, you are still within the law until 2025. However, renovations may be required before April 2025, in order to improve your energy rating and enable you to rent out your property legally from then on.

You may need to renovate your buy-to-let property before 2025

If renovations are required, the good news is that, from January 2022 when these rules were first announced, you have more than three years to complete the necessary changes.

However, you could experience complications when completing these renovations. For example, current or future tenants may have to vacate the property while the building work is being completed, incurring further costs at your expense.

Some common energy-efficient renovations could include:

  • Installing double glazing
  • Reinsulating the property
  • Replacing the boiler, and any other heating sources in the property that are old or broken.

If your property is listed, you may need to obtain additional permission for renovations

If you are based in Scotland and own a listed building, or part of one, you may need to obtain further permission in order to renovate your property.

Even if the renovations will not impact the integrity of the property itself, it is worth getting permission from your local planning authority before you proceed.

It may be wise to begin planning for your renovations earlier if your property is a listed building, in order to ensure you meet the EPC deadlines in 2023 and 2025.

Get in touch

If you have further questions about how to improve your EPC rating, or any other buy-to-let queries, we can help. Working with a professional can be invaluable in the face of changing letting laws, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Email [email protected] or call 0131 339 2281 to speak to us.

Please note

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loans secured on it.

Buy-to-let (pure) and commercial mortgages are not regulated by the FCA.

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home.

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