The ABC of EPCs and support for landlords

A new Bill, currently being debated, means that if you are a landlord and you fail to meet the deadline for adhering to the new minimum EPC rating, you won’t be able to rent out your property until you do. We look at the new bill, what it means for you and how we can help…

Why EPCs?

With the cost of living making the headlines daily, perhaps you're looking more closely at EPCs with a view to improving the energy use in your rental properties?

An EPC is intended to inform potential buyers and tenants about the energy performance of a property, so they can consider energy efficiency as part of their investment to buy or rent a home.

EPCs measure the energy performance of buildings in the residential, commercial, and public sectors and were introduced to provide a key indicator of energy performance and improvements that can be made, giving tenants and buyers more detailed information about energy performance. They were introduced in 2007, which meant every property that was marketed for sale, for rent, or was built after 2007 required an EPC.

In 2008, the Government launched a call for evidence on EPCs which aimed to gather information on how well the new system was working, assess the suitability of the new system, and allow for feedback on ways to improve the system. The EPC action plan identified 35 actions that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of EPCs, and from that came the recommendation

What does this mean for landlords?

Currently, a rental property needs to have an energy rating certificate of E with a penalty of up to £5,000 if that’s not met. Under the new Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings Bill, it is proposed that this is raised to a minimum EPC of C for new tenancies from 2025 and, crucially, for all rental properties by 2028 – where practical, cost-effective and affordable. In 2025, the proposed penalty for properties that do not comply with the rating of C or above will rise to up to £30,000.

This bill, to make provision to increase the minimum energy performance of buildings, is currently at the second reading stage with the House of Commons for debate.

Is my rental property exempt?

Some properties are exempt, such as listed buildings, those with restricted covenants where improvements would detrimentally alter the aesthetics, and those that are used for less than four months a year, as well as temporary homes.

If I need to make changes, how much will it cost?

It’s a good idea to begin planning now for any additional financial layout you may need to make.

Right now, any changes you make to increase a property’s EPC rating to an E need not cost you more than £3,500. That’s because you are allowed to make improvements up to that amount, at which time you can register for an ‘all improvements made’ exemption. Note that under the changes that are being debated in parliament, this limit will increase to £10,000 for improvements to obtain an EPC with a C rating.

Support from Jackson-Stops

If the thought of checking your status and managing the process for upgrading your EPCs, possibly across several rental properties, leaves you cold, Jackson-Stops can help.

We can arrange to find out current EPC ratings for your properties, research available support such as boiler upgrades, available grants and the application process, investigate available funding, and manage the entire process for you.

There is help available, such as grants for landlords of up to £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump or a biomass boiler, and up to £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump, and we can help you to navigate the process to ensure your properties are EPC compliant.

A further challenge for landlords is the availability and quality of tradespeople to carry out any upgrades. Jackson-Stops has established relationships with good quality and reliable tradespeople and can manage the process for you.

Contact our branches:
Canterbury: 01227 781600,
Cranbrook: 01580 720000,
Oxted: 01883 712375,
Sevenoaks: 01732 740600,
Tunbridge Wells: 01892 521700,