New energy efficiency laws are coming into effect over the next few years that will affect the private rented sector and agents’ ability to let properties. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is looking for views of landlords and letting agents to ensure the exemptions register is designed with those active in the sector in mind.
From April 2018, private rental properties in England and Wales must achieve an energy efficiency rating of at least E on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
An EPC is already required for a property when it is offered for rent. The minimum standard will initially only apply upon the granting of a new tenancy to a new or existing tenant (which includes a fixed-term AST rolling over to a statutory periodic).
Then from 2020 the standard will apply to all privately rented properties which are required to have an EPC, unless a valid exemption applies.
Exemptions from the minium standard include:
- the work needed to bring the property up to an EPC E rating would result in a greater than 5% reduction in the value of the property, or would negatively impact the structure of the property; or
- third-party consent for the work (such as freeholder or planning consent) cannot be obtained.
Where an exemption applies, the landlord will be required to register that exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register – a new digital service which is now being developed. The register will enable landlords or their agents to register exempt properties, upload data such as EPCs and survey reports, and submit evidence of compliance. Members of the public will also be able to use the register to search for properties which are exempt from these new EPC requirements.
Anyone who fails to register an exemption, before going on to let out a sub-standard property in breach of the regulations could face a fine of up to £4000.
The Exemptions Register is currently being developed by Northgate Public Services. To help them ensure that the register is designed with the PRS’ needs in mind we would be grateful if you could take the time to complete the following short survey: