Changes to EPC ratings

A guide for landlords by Furness Building Society

The life of a private rental landlord can be an extremely rewarding one.

Financial independence, security involved with assets and flexibility to earn away from the office are all benefits. However, it is fair to say that you also have a few checkboxes and hoops to jump through in order to pass governmental checks and meet the necessary legal requirements. The latest to add to this list involves EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) ratings.

With environmental issues sitting highly on the wider global agenda, it’s no surprise that this is having an impact within the property market too. Homes in the UK produce 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions and the government is now looking at ways to reduce the carbon footprint of our homes and ensure the average EPC rating on all buildings is at band C by 2035.

Man installing new wall insulation to represent EPC rating requirements

Ensuring you’re aware of these changes to policy early means you’ll be ahead of the curve and can start thinking about the measures you’ll need to put in place. A report from Rightmove even shows that you can add as much as 16% to the asking price of a property when you come to sell if you have made changes to improve the EPC rating of your property.

What is an EPC rating?

An Energy Performance Certificate, otherwise known as an EPC, does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a document that indicates how energy efficient a property is on a scale of A to G (with A being the most efficient). This scoring is based on a number of different environmental factors such as expected energy output and other energy performance features in the home, including insulation and solar panels.

Many of us are already familiar with this certificate, having come across it when buying or selling a home. EPCs have been a requirement for all homeowners and landlords since 2008. However, fast forward 10 years to April 2018 and this is when the government first introduced the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Legislation. This meant all homeowners and landlords were required by law to maintain an EPC band rating of ‘E’ or above - an attempt to curb the growing climate crisis, fuelled by poor energy efficiency. With penalty fines from Local Trading Standards introduced for non-compliance, anyone ignoring the new measures could be fined from £500 to £5,000!

What are the new EPC regulations?

Are EPCs required for rental properties?

Where can I find my EPC rating?

How long does an EPC rating last for rental properties?

What does a low EPC rating mean?

How can I improve my EPC rating?

Next steps

In the coming years, EPC ratings are going to become increasingly important as they are geared to impact more than just environmental conscience. 

Green mortgages will provide incentives and cheaper rates for properties with high EPC ratings - so it’s worth considering these governmental changes now. This will give you plenty of time to qualify for the best mortgage deals moving forward. To find out more about these changes give us a call on 0800 781 4311.