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BTL EPC Changes – Let’s keep it simple

As most of us will know by now, Buy to Let rules are changing. As part of the Government’s drive to meet its pledge of net zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050, the private rental sector has come into sharp focus.

What are the rules?

TODAY – Domestic private rental properties must meet a minimum EPC rating of E.

FROM 2025 – All new tenancies will require the property to have a rating of C or above.

FROM 2028 – All new and existing tenancies will require the property to have a rating of C or above.

How can a property EPC rating be checked?

Very easily – The government have set up an easy-to-use register which details the most recent EPC report with a rating and a list of recommended works needed to improve energy efficiency. It can be found at www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate.

Do landlords really need to act now, after all the changes are 3 years away?

Some commentators believe that due to the large number of properties requiring improvement, there could be long waits for tradesman services. Of course, if business is booming for these tradesmen, then labour prices are only likely to go one way. Once you factor in potential rental voids if a property cannot be let pending improvements, then the message is, beat the inevitable rush and act sooner rather than later. Acting now will inevitably save on stress and costs.

The improvements are going to be expensive, is it worth it?

Firstly, major Estate Agents have commented that properties with a high EPC rating often achieve substantially higher sale prices than those with a low rating, so the cost of investment may well be offset to some extent.

Secondly, there are potential exemptions available, the cost of making necessary upgrades is expected to be capped at £10,000 per property. This means, if a landlord spends that sum and still does not achieve a C rating, they can apply for exemption under the “High-Cost Exemption” rules.

Blogger – Damian Cain is a director and co-owner of Complete FS Ltd. Listing his certificates of achievement as including, 25m breaststroke and company go-kart champion, he is most proud of the Crystal Mark certification received for Plain English writing.

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