From April 1st, all rented properties in the UK require a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of ‘E’, otherwise landlords could face a fine of up to £4,000.
In October 2017 the Government published the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for private landlords. In short, it detailed how from April 1st, all landlords will be prohibited from granting new tenancies for properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below ‘E’. This includes extensions and renewals of existing tenancies and even a tenant holding over at the end of a let period, as well as new let properties.
Failing to meet the new standard could result in a fine of £4,000, however landlords are savvy investors and operate an alternative version of EPC - Every Penny Counts – so will look for ways of making this cost effective for them. But this is yet another obstacle for them to contend with.
The recent PRA (Prudential Regulation Authority) changes, made it even more difficult for landlords fully service their loans using income generated by their investment due to tougher background portfolio stress tests and new tax implications.
In addition, it would appear mortgage lenders may not provide finance for buy-to-let properties without the required EPC rating. Overall this could potentially leave landlords struggling to remortgage existing properties while they invest in energy efficiency measures on older properties falling in the ‘F’ or ‘G’ rating brackets.
At Crystal Specialist Finance we’ve teamed up with Robin Thom from Green Heath Ltd to give you a few clever ideas on how to improve the energy performance of a property. The good news is that there are some simple, low-cost changes that can have a big impact.
For instance, replacing old light bulbs with more energy efficient ones, such as LEDs or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) will have a positive effect, as will insulating any suitable cavity walls and topping up loft insulation. These measures alone can take properties up a grade or two. We also have access to lenders that can provide loans on properties in various states of repair that would allow more substantial works to take place.