EPC Regulations – should landlords sell band F and G rated flats?

EPC Regulations – should landlords sell band F and G rated flats?

20:45 PM, 18th March 2013, About 8 years ago 19

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EPC Regulations - should landlords sell band F and G rated flatsEPC regulations are beginning to worry many landlords so I would like to raise this question; “should landlords be selling leasehold flats with a Band F & G EPC rating now?”

Just in case you are not aware, it will be illegal for landlords to rent out Band F and G rated properties from 2018. Further, we can not refuse tenant request to improve the EPC rating of these flats from 2016.

The Problem?

As leaseholders we only rent the space, we do not own the building. Therefore, how can we add cavity wall insulation, loft insulation or external wall insulation without the freeholders and every other leaseholders consent? I don’t think we can!

Can we compel our freeholders to do the works? I don’t think we can!

OK, we might be able to add a more energy efficient boiler but that’s about it isn’t it? Somebody suggested internal wall insulation to me today but who’s going to want that?!!! Making rooms smaller and what about sockets or kitchen/wardrobe fitting etc.?

The only logical conclusion for me at the moment is that if you own a flat with an F or G EPC rating get rid!

That’s not advice by the way, it’s merely a frustrated conclusion that I’ve come to, hopefully because I’m missing something!

I’m not the only one with similar concerns. Only last week, landlord Neil Branch posed the following question:-

“I have a 2nd floor flat that has an EPC rating of H. I would like to put in cavity wall insulation to raise this to a rating of E, to meet future regulations. However none of the other tenants in the block (15 flats) seem interested. Any suggestions as to how I could go about this?”

Any ideas good people?




8:37 AM, 20th March 2013, About 8 years ago

The only elements that matter in any property are those which are exposed to the outside, unless the flat is on the ground or top floor, the walls are the only element which will need improving. The most influential part of the rating is the heating fuel and sometimes there is no choice, mains gas gives good ratings, calor gas does not. If the property is heated with storage heaters, improvements to the heaters will improve the rating, read the epc report, the recommendations will guide you.
One thing to bear in mind is that the recommendations are based on the fuel currently used in the property, loft insulation recommendations are included if the assessor has put down that the loft is accessible, no hatch-no recommendation.
To get a mid floor flat to rate less than E, the property would need to be heated by direct acting electric heaters or have no heating system fitted (software assumes electric).


11:55 AM, 20th March 2013, About 8 years ago

Freeholders/leaseholders can get cavity wall insulation installed in 3 storey or more blocks at NO cost. Energy bills are thus lower, homes are warmer and more attractive to buyers/new tenants.

Why therefore should any of these object?

by Reader

12:49 PM, 20th March 2013, About 8 years ago

Bill, It is helpful to read your post. Can you help landlords to understand which items of kit give the most cost effective improvements? Energy companies and their agents want to SELL items under the Green Deal but landlords want to be advised


10:59 AM, 21st March 2013, About 8 years ago

I purchased a pre-first-world-war terraced house (buy-to-let) with an old loft conversion. There is no loft space above the ceiling and the conversion is so old I am certain that no roof insulation will be incorporated.
The ceiling profile is T-fall with arched rather than flat-plain angles.
Being a loft conversion I can ill afford to lose height in the room.
Has anyone got any suggestions for effective insulation, especially if they address the problem of room height and the curved profile?
Robert Cummings.


9:49 AM, 25th March 2013, About 8 years ago

A word of warning - check what difference doing anything to a property will make to the EPC !! Don't bother with the blurb on the EPC - it seems to be meaningless.

I have just fitted 60mm of under floor insulation as well as 60mm internal wall insulation in 3 rooms on the outside walls on an end of terrace Victorian house. Because I also fitted and electric fire in the sitting room, as a secondary sourse of heating, the new EPC is exactly the same as it was before I spent all that money. In my opinion the whole "making our homes more energy efficient" is a waste of money !! I shan't be doing it again.

by Neil HEWITT

10:02 AM, 25th March 2013, About 8 years ago

Go back and ask the energy assessor what difference the electric fire does make, as the software will include this it is evident. Also, was the assessor ware of the insulaltion, and did you provide proof of installation. If there is no proof, the assessor will not include those measure, and will not take your word for it. Unfortunately the quality of assessors does vary, make sure you use someone who is adequately qualifed, and not the cheapest. An assessor who originally qualified as a home inspector would be suitable.

by Reader

12:09 PM, 25th March 2013, About 8 years ago

Dear Neil,
If landlords were told which items of equipment could make the greatest influence and which items of equipment were the most efficient, sensible decissions could be made at the start of projects. However the present information avaiulable is inadaquate especially under the Green Deal. The whole process at present lacks clarity and accounatability. It is no good spending then waiting to see if you have made a correct decision.


11:31 AM, 29th March 2013, About 8 years ago

Can landlords and agents amend their AST's? Could a landlord add a clause saying that "tenants cannot refuse to sign up to the Green Deal for required improvements" that otherwise would have to be paid for by the landlord privately? I have to agree it would be frustrating for a tenant to request expensive works, then refuse to get them done on the Green Deal. Personally I'd be issuing a Section 21.

Neil Hewitt is absolutely right - when doing any improvement works, make sure you have dated, photographic evidence to pass to your Energy Assessor as accreditation bodies require documentrary or photographic proof of all aspects of an EPC. Such photos etc will also prove useful when selling as buyers in the future (certainly landlords) will no doubt be interested. Documentary evidence includes Building Regs paper work etc. Decent DEA's need to adhere to the rules of accreditation.

When looking at improvements, gas is always considered a cleaner, cheaper fuel to electricity so install condensing boilers over electric heaters... if gas is present obviously!

Internal wall insulation is certainly a valid point (on external walls) and one can 'dot and dab' with Kingspan backed plasterboard. This will not reduce space by much at all. This should reduce condensation/mildew issues if present (which I have an issue with in one studio with electric heating).

Landlords have been getting EPCs done at rock bottom price but unfortunately may be realising that this economy was a mistake. Their importance has gradually become more apparent and with the new 2018 legislation a review is required on any done incorrectly.

by Neil HEWITT

14:44 PM, 29th March 2013, About 8 years ago

As for asking tenants to agree to Green Deal as part of their AST, the ultimate test, is if a tenant does go to court, for breach of tenancy. I think it would be considered unreasonable, as are many of the terms that exist in many ASTs.
I have seen many unreasonable terms deliberately put in by landlords and agents, and the tenant signs, because they have essentially no choice in the matter.
As The Green Deal is led by Central Government, they would not want to see the scheme discredited, even though keen for uptake. This would be misspelling, and that is not permitted under The Green Deal Code of Practice. And, the energy companies would not agree to such cohersion either.
I am sorry to say it, but some landlords do need to invest in their properties, and allow a certain percentage for maintenance and improvement.

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