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Meeting EPC Requirements: 5 Actions you Should Take in 2023

Jun 22nd 2023

Confused about the upcoming EPC changes? You're not alone

Much remains unclear about the upcoming changes in the minimum EPC rating for properties in the Private Rented Sector.

 

Last year, we wrote about The Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings Bill as it was being debated in parliament. It ultimately passed, meaning that, as of 2025, all privately rented buildings must hold at least an Energy Performance Certificate of C. At the end of March this year, the deadline for existing properties to meet this standard was extended to 2028.

 

It’s been claimed that the cap on the maximum spend on each property to reach these standards will be £10,000. However, the financial support situation is not entirely clear at present. Previously, there was a Green Home Grant available to landlords, but many had a poor experience with it and it was cancelled in 2022. There is also the suggestion of a scheme which encourages mortgage lenders to offer finance for sustainable home improvements for landlords, but nothing has been definitely established yet.

 

Many landlords also have questions about when they will be able to make the required renovations to the property, considering the proposed abolition of Section 21, and how the rental industry will be affected if the projected number of landlords simply leave the market.

 

With the current uncertainty, it can be difficult to know how to proceed in the short term. On one hand, any plans made now may still have to change in light of later updates. On the other, even with the extended deadline, time is limited (particularly if you own multiple properties to let) and failure to comply could leave you with a hefty fine. Leaving renovations to the last minute could also mean dealing with shortages in workmen and supplies.

 

If you’re looking for low-risk actions you can take with your property right now to save you time and stress in the future, read on.

1. Find out if any of your properties are exempt

If your rented building(s) come under any of the following criteria, it may be an exception to the necessity to meet Minimum Energy Efficient Standards:

  • Detached buildings with 50 metres or less of floor space
  • Places of worship
  • Certain workshops and industrial buildings that don’t use much energy
  • Properties that are due to be demolished
  • Listed or protected buildings that are likely to be compromised by improvements
  • Temporary buildings that will be used for a maximum of two years

It’s also possible that some of the exceptions that currently apply to meeting an EPC rating of E may come into play as plans develop, so this may be worth reading up on.

2. Renew Existing EPCs (or compare your properties to the newest Criteria)

EPCs last a property ten years, but if it’s been a while since your building was last inspected for one, it may be a good idea to renew.

This is because standards for various ratings were updated in 2022 and finding out just before the 2028 deadline that your property doesn’t comply could cause you unneeded worry and unplanned expense.

EPCs require an inspection by an accredited energy surveyor. They are likely to take a look at the following:

  • Exterior walls
  • Roof insulation
  • Floor
  • Windows
  • Open fireplaces
  • Boiler
  • Lighting
  • Heating system
  • Heating controls
  • Hot water cylinder insulation
  • Ventilation system
  • Conservatory and extensions

 

The inspector will also need to know when the property was built or extended, and the details of any boilers or other heating systems. These inspections often cost between £60-£100 and take about an hour to carry out.

While a standard assessment procedure and renewal is the only way to be certain of where you currently stand, energy calculators can give you an idea of where you fit within the standards.

3. Estimate the Cost Needed to Bring your Building up to Standard

EPCs and Energy Calculators will both give you recommendations of what changes will have the most impact on your property’s energy efficiency. An EPC will give you a detailed breakdown of how they suggest you move forward, including the average cost of different measures, what rating they will bring you up to, and how much they will save you in energy expenses per year.

If you choose not to renew your EPC, you can research the average cost of some commonly recommended measures for a property of your type and age or even get a quote from a contractor for various energy-saving solutions.

Some common recommendations for properties include:

  • Adding in-roof or wall insulation
  • Draught proofing
  • Solar water heating
  • Replace single glazed windows with double glazing
  • Improve insulation around water tanks/pipes
  • Low energy lighting
  • Using heating controls
  • Replacing the boiler

Once you know what you might expect to spend, you can begin budgeting for this and considering when it would be best to begin the improvements in terms of various tenancies.

4. Talk to your property manager about options going forward

If your property is managed by an agency, they may be able to help you to plan ahead. Property Agents may be aware of local schemes or grants for property owners to make their buildings more efficient or advise you on what low-budget changes make the most impact on EPC.

If the costs for renovations are looking like they may be more than you can personally afford, some property Agents such as Let’s Rent in Bristol also offer a Guaranteed Rent scheme. This means that you commit to renting your property to them in the long term, while they invest in the relevant improvements and sub-let it to tenants, paying you an agreed, guaranteed amount every month.

 

Read about the benefits of guaranteed rent services

 

If you’re considering whether to pull your property out of the rental market, many lettings agents also operate as estate agents and can guide you through this process.

5. Stay Up to Date

It’s unknown when new updates on MEES or EPC may come in, so make sure to keep an eye out for relevant news. It’s vital to make informed choices about your property and your future in the rental market to truly benefit from your status as a landlord.

Property letting blogs such as this one, landlord forums, and newsletters can all keep you up to date on any information which may affect your plans or help you to save money.

Take the Stress out of Property Letting

 

If you’re a private landlord in Bristol, Let’s Rent have a range of tailored landlord services to take some of the time and energy investment out of property letting.

We are a professional, close-knit business specialising in tenant find services, property management, HMOs, and guaranteed rent.

Find out more today.

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