The onus on landlords to provide energy efficient accommodation has once again stepped up a gear, now that part three of the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 has come fully into effect.
It is now (since 1st April 2020) illegal for landlords to continue to let a property, or grant a new tenancy (including an extension or renewal), where the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is below band E - the minimum level of energy efficiency for private rented properties.
This regulation has applied since April 2018 but until now has not applied to existing tenancies.
Implementation is of course another matter during these difficult times. Indeed, the Scottish government has already decided to postpone implementation for the time being. This is not necessarily a relaxation of intention to police the regulation, but more a requirement to redirect resources and support for vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis.
However, at this time there is no suggestion that the regulation will be relaxed outside Scotland and landlords are strongly advised that if they have not already taken steps to comply (notice having first been issued in 2014) then they should do so as a matter of urgency.
Of course, during lockdown, access to property can be an issue, and it is yet to be seen how local enforcement agencies will respond. Fortunately, for the majority of our landlords, this is a non-issue as their standards are, in most case, higher than the minimum EPC requirement in any event! We seem to attract the good guys!
We make it our business to keep fully abreast of the increasingly complex field of PRS regulation, so if you’d like any help or advice about your legal obligations as a landlord, then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01248 724040. It would be our pleasure to assist.