An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is an official way of demonstrating a building’s energy efficiency. If someone is selling or leasing a property, they must have one. An EPC is also essential when applying for grants or loans, or for Green Deal financing.
However, from April of 2018, new energy efficiency regulations will apply, which may affect landlords, depending on the EPC ratings of their properties.
“While EPCs are by now a familiar element on the property landscape, landlords shouldn’t get too comfortable about them, because things are changing,” warns Emily.
From April, anyone with an EPC rating below E will not be able to let a property, or renew an existing tenancy.
“This is about compliance,” Emily states. “After April, landlords could find themselves faced with fines of up to £5,000.”
How Prepared are Landlords for Change?
“There is a very real danger that many landlords are either unaware altogether, or think that the changes won’t apply to them,” suggests Emily. “But it applies to both domestic and non-domestic private rental sectors.”
The new rules will initially affect only leases taken out after April 2018, but by 2023 they will apply to all privately leased properties.
“Landlords have got five years to make already leased properties EPC-compliant, but for any new leases, they’ll need to get that all important E rating. This is effectively an early warning to landlords”
There are exemptions, but, as Emily points out, anyone subletting a property could also find themselves liable.
“If you’ve rented a property then sublet units, such as workshops, then these will all need to achieve the minimum energy standards or you’ll face penalties.”
Business Benefits of Energy Efficiency
“EPC regulations have clear, positive aspects for landlords,” Emily emphasises.
“We’re living in a world where sustainable values are on the increase, to the extent that they are a valuable business currency. Not just complying with EPC standards but striving to improve on them makes sound business sense.”
Better energy use and increased efficiency can help to boost productivity and instil a positive workplace culture.
“Look at how smart LED lighting technology is revolutionising working spaces, while significantly reducing energy bills,” explains Emily.
“By future-proofing their properties now for EPC, landlords can make them more competitive, and more attractive to potential leaseholders, including leaseholders who themselves sublet commercial space”
“Commercial and domestic landlords should seek support to ensure they take the right steps,” concludes Emily. “Looking at their EPC ratings and energy efficiency should, at the very least, be part of a strategic approach to property portfolio management.”
Fairhurst Estates is a leading provider of commercial estate management. If you are in any doubt about compliance, or how to make improvements, please call them on 0161 476 9476 or visit fairhurst-estates.co.uk.