Take steps to improve energy efficiency of private property

Landlords and managers of residential properties are being reminded of additional responsibilities they have with regard to the energy efficiency of let properties.

From April 1, 2018, it will be unlawful to let a residential property in England or Wales with an EPC rating in band F or G on a new tenancy. After April 1, 2020 the same rules will apply to existing tenancies of such properties.

Non-domestic properties have until April 1, 2023 (including existing tenancies) to ensure they meet the minimum E rating.

“With less than a year to go before the ‘E’ Rating obligation comes into force for new tenancies, property owners should take steps to upgrade their properties now,” said Charlotte Rogerson, a chartered surveyor with Berrys at Shrewsbury.

The likely cost of improving a property’s EPC will depend on many factors including the age and type of building and could range from a costly new boiler and heating installation or an air conditioning refurbishment to, at the other end of the scale, a simple change of light bulbs and insulating the roof space.

“Many rural properties are of traditional solid wall construction which may be harder and more expensive to upgrade,” said Charlotte.

To help finance improvements the government has relaunched its home improvement loan scheme, the Green Deal, with loans now available through the Green Deal Finance Company.

A Green Deal Loan helps cover the cost of energy efficiency improvements and is paid back with interest through the property’s energy bill (specifically the electricity bill). The loan stays with the electricity meter at the property and the tenants will repay the Green Deal Loan through their electricity bills.

Under the “Golden Rule” the cost to repay the loan should be covered by the energy savings following the installation. This means that if tenants are typical energy users, their electricity bill is estimated not to increase.

For further information contact Charlotte Rogerson at the Shrewsbury office of Berrys on 01743 290642 email charlotte.rogerson@berrys.uk.com or visit https://www.gdfc.co.uk/

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