The latest government legislation could help to improve as many as 290,000 rented homes across England and Wales.

At the start of November the government announced a new set of regulations for landlords and their properties. The outcome should deliver positive news for people living in rented homes that are cold, draughty and expensive to heat.

The new rules ensure landlords have to make plans to improve rented properties by installing measures such as insulation. As a result, tenants will enjoy a warmer home, reduced energy waste and the benefits of lower heating bills.

Rented homes and EPCs

So how will landlords know if their rented homes meet the government’s new energy efficiency standards?

The first thing the property needs is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

An EPC has to be issued by an accredited assessor1. They will visit the property to check the heating systems, windows and walls. They will then rate the energy efficiency of the property and measure its environmental impact.

Properties are given a rating of A-G. Properties with an EPC of A are the most energy efficient homes. G rated properties are the least efficient.

EPC Energy Chart

Properties are rated A B C D E F G
When the certificate is issued it’s colour banded, similar to the energy ratings you’ll find on electrical items such as fridges, washing machines and TVs.

Landlords to upgrade rental properties

Landlords who find their rental properties have the lowest EPC ratings of F or G will have to make improvements. They will need to achieve at least an E before the property can be re-let to new tenants.

This could mean landlords funding the installation of energy efficiency improvements such as Loft insulation or floor insulation to bring rented homes up to the new standards.

According to the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the new regulations will save tenants an estimated £180every year on energy bills.

That’s on top of renters enjoying living in a warmer, more comfortable home.

Up to £3,500 on improvements

Landlords will have to allow up to £3,500 to upgrade each rented property. This could cover improvements such as adding wall insulation, a new condensing boiler or replacing single glazed windows with double glazed windows. Landlords may be able to apply for ECO funding to cover the cost of installing insulation.

Professional installers such as InstaGroup can assess a rented property and recommend a range of options to help bring the EPC up to an acceptable rating.

Better energy efficiency for all homes

This new legislation is expected to impact around 290,000 rented homes in England and Wales. It’s estimated up to 200,000 landlords should be getting ready to take action.

If a landlord fails to meet their responsibility and doesn’t improve the energy efficiency of their properties, they could be liable to a fine of up to £5,0003.

The upgrades to rented homes will effectively make heating bills more affordable for tenants, and help towards the government’s commitment to reducing energy waste.

If you’re a landlord and want to know more about checking or improving the energy efficiency of your properties, ask us for a professional home energy assessment.

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