Rural Hub
Back

Plans to increase minimum EPC ratings – advice for landlords

2 mins

Landlords needing to carry out energy improvements works to meet minimum standards for private rented homes may want to aim for a higher Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating than is currently legally required in anticipation of planned changes to the rules.

The government recently published a consultation seeking views on raising the minimum EPC rating from an E to a C from 1 April 2025 for new tenancies and for all tenancies by 2028.

Although this is currently only a proposal, so the details may change, it clearly demonstrates the direction of travel when it comes to energy performance standards.

Green Homes Grant support

It feels like a sensible approach for landlords to consider long-term solutions for their rented properties, particularly given the current availability of possible funding through the Green Homes Grant to help support this investment.

Landlords who are currently looking for ways to bring F and G rated properties up to standards may want to consider the steps needed to reach a C rating, rather than an E. Similarly, landlords with a property currently rated D or E may wish to consider undertaking works within the next few years in preparation for an amendment in the regulations.

Moving to a C rating is likely to be challenging for some farms and rural estates which rent out traditional and listed properties. These are more difficult to raise to the required standards in a cost-effective way, without risking damaging the fabric of the building. However, there are circumstances where is it possible to apply for an exemption.  

‘Fabric first’ approach

The government consultation, which closes on 30 December, also suggests introducing a ‘fabric first’ approach to making improvements.

This would mean prioritising those measures which improve the fabric of the building in terms of its energy efficiency, through insulation and draught-proofing, before making improvements to heat and electricity generation systems.

It also proposes increasing the cost cap, which sets out the maximum amount a landlord will be expected to invest in order to raise energy standards, from £3,500 to £10,000 (inc VAT).

Recent EPC changes 

The government has recently launched a new digital register of all current EPC certificates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (https://find-energy-certificate.digital.communities.gov.uk/), along with a website to help people find an energy assessor if looking to commission a new EPC (https://getting-new-energy-certificate.digital.communities.gov.uk/)

Strutt & Parker is able to assist landlords with MEES compliance, including applying for exemptions where appropriate and applying for Green Homes Grant funding.

Strutt & Parker has also produced a MEES flowchart which helps landlords to understand what is required of them. For further details, contact Yasmin Peach.

2 mins

Related Articles

16.08.2022

Revisiting the Renters’ Reform Bill

The Renters’ Reform Bill may have been stuck on the back burner for the past three years, but it was put back into play by the 2022 Queen’s Speech, with significant implications for landlords and tenants. The proposed Bill is intended to transform the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in England through a series of reforms to […]
12.04.2022

Rural landlords need clarity over energy standards

Eighteen months have passed since the government first published its consultation on improving the minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) in privately rented homes. That document set out plans to raise the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) energy efficiency rating to Band C for new tenancies from 2025 and for all existing tenancies from 2028. The consultation […]
07.02.2022

Smoke and carbon monoxide regulations – an update

The Government has committed to making changes to smoke and carbon monoxide legislation in England, following a consultation that ended in January 2021. It has not been confirmed when the amendments to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations will come into force and it is expected there will be a transition period to give landlords time […]
13.05.2021

MEES and EPC rules – three common questions answered

Three years after the introduction of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for new residential tenancies and one year since the legislation was extended for all existing residential tenancies, there remains confusion among landlords about how the regulations should be applied in different situations. On 1 April 2018, MEES introduced the requirement for residential landlords to […]

Talk to us

Want to talk to us about our rural specialisms? Send us a message and we will make sure it gets to the right person.

Please write your name
Please write a message

Sign up

Sign up to be notified when we launch new publications so you’re always ahead of the research.

Please write your name
Please write a correct email address
Send me updates about
Please tick a box