Back to legislation and I am going to focus my attention on Energy Performance Certificates (EPC). Since April 2018, rental properties in England and Wales have had to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES).
The 2018 rule that was introduced only applied for new tenancies. As of April 2020, this new rule applies to all new tenancies.
Going forward, all rented households must have a minimum EPC rating of E. According to ‘Which’ magazine landlords that have rentals with a rating of F or G face fines of up to £5000.
Up until recently, I had no idea about needing to have a minimum EPC rating of E. I sort of knew what an EPC was but not really. To me, it was a colourful piece of paper that was included when you bought a house.
Now I am paying more attention to my existing rentals, I have made sure that my rentals have an EPC and am aware that my new colourful bits of paper are valid for 10 years.
I even went as far as reading each EPC when the company sent me the certs. To get a rating of E (the minimum standard) you have to get a score of 39-54 and this covers things like windows and insulation.
My results were ok as the rentals score ranged from high 60s to early 70s. 2 of my rentals only got 1 star for insulation and 1 of my rentals got 2 stars for windows.
So I am now on top of all my legislation and I can potentially make improvements to help my tenants. The reason it is potentially and not definitely is because I have spent £4500 on x3 new boilers within the last year so I don’t want to be spending anymore if I don’t have to.
This brings me to the energy efficiency measures that the Government are about to introduce.
As a way to get the economy moving in the right direction, the Government plan to give homeowners in England money to spend on home improvements. Anything that improves the house in terms of energy efficiency will be applicable. So it will be things like boilers, windows and insulation.
This will create thousands of jobs, will reduce the bills for tenants and will also reduce our carbon footprint. The bonus for landlords is that it will reduce maintenance costs over the next few years.
According to Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert), the grant will cover at least two thirds of the cost, up to £5,000.
Rishi Sunak has gone a step further for those on low income, “For low income households, we will go even further with vouchers covering the full cost up to £10,000.”
This will be fully rolled out in September and will be issued in the form of vouchers.
So make sure you get your EPC booked in for each of your rentals and make sure that all your other legislation is up to date.
Don’t be that landlord who just collects the rent like I was. The landlord tenant relationship can be a good one but as the landlord you have to put some effort in. Making sure that you fulfil your legal obligations is a bare minimum.
You can guarantee that someone somewhere with little or no legislation will suffer financially. Imagine if the shit hit the fan a few years ago and number 19 (one of my 4 rentals) had fire damage or the kitchen was flooded whilst I had no insurance. I was anxious over money at the time anyway and this would have only added to my financial misery.
As mentioned above, getting your rentals (or even your own home) energy efficient by using Government vouchers has many benefits. Fingers crossed it has the desired effect and gets thousands back into work.