We would urge you to check any current EPCs as soon as possible. New regulations coming into force will soon make it unlawful to renew or grant a new lease for properties with an energy rating below an E from 1st April 2018.
The clock is now ticking towards the deadline next year and you do not want to get caught out. The legislation will also apply to all existing leases from April 2023 so it is essential you properly plan to ensure you can continue to let your property.
To put things in to perspective, recent information published by the Government highlights that 10% of all registered EPCs for non-domestic properties in Bedfordshire are either F or G rated. Assuming no changes are made to legislation and that the property does not fit the exemption definitions then landlords for these properties will not be able to renew or grant a new lease after 1st April 2018. This could leave buildings unlettable until improvement works take place leading to vacant buildings and loss of rental income. It will also have an effect on tenants, who may have to find alternative premises.
It is important to be cautious when reviewing historic EPCs as some have been found to contain inaccurate information which have contributed to properties having a poor energy rating. In the past, EPCs were seen by many as a ‘tick box’ exercise just to advertise the property on the open market and enable a lease to be signed. Many were obtained as economically as possible with little attention to detail and based upon wrong assumptions. This has left many properties vulnerable and dropped them unnecessarily into the danger zone.
Another consideration is how many landlords know if existing tenants have made any changes since the last EPC? Changes to service installations, includingair conditioning or electric heaters, can dramatically reduce the rating. We strongly urge landlords to review their current documents and if necessary commission new EPCs to ensure they accurately reflect the present day property.
While the new regulations do not come into force until April 2018, action now can help prepare for the changes and help mitigate the impact of the changes. Please contact us for an initial free appraisal of your existing EPC.
We can help identify any buildings at risk, assess your property, implement a strategy to ensure your buildings comply with the regulations and advise upon the most cost effective options.
For further information about how we can help you improve your EPC, please call Robert.Back to articles