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2023 EPC update - what landlords need to know

Since 2008, UK landlords have been legally required to provide tenants with a free-of-charge energy performance certificate. Since that date, there have been numerous changes to legislation - with more likely to come. In this blog, we’ll outline the current EPC requirements, what could change, and explore how landlords can keep on top of energy improvement costs. 

What is the current EPC legislation for landlords? 

As of April 2023, the current EPC requirements for landlords are as follows: 

  • Landlords must obtain an energy performance certificate before the start of every new tenancy.
  • For existing tenancies, landlords must obtain an EPC every 10 years.
  • The EPC rating for privately rented properties must be E or above.
  • The current cost cap for property improvement spending is £3,500. This means if your property is rated F or G on the energy performance certificate you will be legally required to spend up to £3,500 on energy improvements. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to improve your EPC rating. 

What's changing?

Although EPC changes have not yet been announced, in Autumn 2020 the government began a consultation on the tightening of MEES rules. The proposed changes were as follows: 

  • From April 2025, it’s proposed all new tenancies must have an EPC rating of C or above. 
  • From April 2028, it’s proposed all existing tenancies must have an EPC rating of C or above. 
  • The cost cap should rise to £10,000 per property. 

What can landlords do to improve their EPC rating?

If you’re a landlord with a low-rated property, now is the perfect time to start thinking about energy improvements! With new regulations looming and potentially hefty costs in your future, it’s worthwhile spreading out those investments over the next two years. There are several things you can do to improve your EPC rating, such as:

  • Insulate the property: Proper insulation can help to keep the property warm in winter and cool in summer, reducing the need for heating and cooling systems. You can insulate the loft, walls, floors, and windows to improve energy efficiency.

  • Upgrade the heating system: A modern, efficient heating system can help to reduce energy consumption and save money on heating bills. Consider upgrading to a high-efficiency boiler or installing a renewable heating system such as a heat pump.

  • Install double-glazed windows: Double-glazed windows can help to reduce heat loss through windows, improving energy efficiency.

  • Use energy-efficient lighting: Replace old incandescent light bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs, which use less energy and last longer.

  • Seal air leaks: Drafts and air leaks can let in cold air in winter and hot air in summer, reducing energy efficiency. Sealing air leaks can help to keep the property more comfortable and reduce energy consumption.

  • Install solar panels: Solar panels can generate renewable energy, reducing the property's reliance on grid electricity.

Landlords EPC FAQ

What is an EPC?

EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. It is a document that provides information about the energy efficiency of a building, and is designed to help homeowners and tenants make more informed decisions about the energy efficiency of their property. The certificate rates the building's energy performance on a scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), and provides recommendations for improving energy efficiency. EPCs are required by law for all homes that are bought, sold or rented.

Why do landlords need to comply with EPC regulations?

The purpose of the EPC regulations is to help reduce carbon emissions and promote energy efficiency in the UK's housing stock. By complying with these regulations, landlords are contributing to the effort to combat climate change and help reduce energy bills for their tenants.

Additionally, complying with EPC regulations can benefit landlords in the long term by improving the energy efficiency of their properties, which can make them more attractive to prospective tenants and increase their value. 

Are there any exemptions? 

There are some exemptions when it comes to energy performance certificates - these include: 

  • The building is listed or officially protected
  • The property is temporarily going to be used for 2 years or less 
  • The building is used as a place of worship
  • An industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that doesn’t use much energy
  • The property is detached with a total floor space under 50 square metres 
  • The building is due to be demolished 

Although the EPC changes may seem daunting, there is good news! According to Habeo’s EPC report, over half of PRS properties across England are already rated A-C. Plus, energy performance has seen a remarkable improvement since 2017 and the trend looks set to continue.

Do you need an EPC? Our knowledgeable award-winning team can take care of it for you hassle-free. We've helped thousands of happy landlords manage tasks such as EPC's for over a decade - but don't just take our word for it, watch their stories to see how we've supported landlords like you.

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