Expert View: What do new energy efficiency rules mean?
Expert View By Neil Shaw FRICS, Director of Chinneck Shaw estate agents and lettings agency
Q: I’m a landlord – what do new energy efficiency regulations for the private rented sector mean for my tenants and I?
A: The Government has turned up the heat recently in its drive to improve energy efficiency in privately rented homes.
Its latest regulations came into force on April 1, which mean tenants can now ask landlords or lettings agents for permission to carry out energy efficiency improvements.
These can include insulation, new windows, boilers, lighting, solar panels, and under floor heating.
The tenant must pay for the works – for example, through finance, grants or their own money – with no costs falling upon the landlord unless they wish to contribute.
Consent for works must not be ‘unreasonably refused’ and there is the remedy of a tribunal if a tenant feels that their landlord has not complied with the regulations. Furthermore, a landlord just has a month to respond to a request.
However, there are cases where a landlord does not need to agree the request – for example, if it would affect the house price by more than 5% of its market value.
Landlords and letting agents must also ensure new lets and renewals have a minimum rating of an E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) from April 2018 with further ratings of D and C in the following years.
Naturally, it is in everyone’s interests to make properties as energy efficient as possible to save power and money, not to mention the environment.
As ever the devil will be in the detail for all of these regulations so please contact a local lettings agent or member of the Portsmouth Property Association (PPA) to for more in-depth advice about these measures and how they affect you.