New EPC rules set To upset the PRS as well as me!

New EPC rules set To upset the PRS as well as me!

10:33 AM, 11th January 2018, About 4 years ago 13

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From April 2018, landlords of privately rented domestic and non-domestic property in England or Wales must ensure that their properties reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E before granting a new tenancy to new or existing tenants.

Now as a Landlord I had not taken too much notice of this looming legislation. My properties are well maintained and in good order I told myself. Imagine my surprise when my diligent agent contacted me and explained that shortly I could no longer rent out one of my properties, a flat, because of my EPC F rating.

Now since I bought this property I have had it fully double glazed and added loft insulation all at my own cost. The rest of the flat was heated through modern electric wall heaters and a modern gas fire. I thought these changes would be enough to raise the EPC to an acceptable rating. Imagine my surprise when I received another F rating with a new EPC.

Only installation of a new central heating system and possibly wall insulation would bring my flat to an acceptable rating I was told. That equates to a six thousand pound heating installation bill, however I could do nothing about insulating the walls as my well maintained 200 year old non listed building were solid.

Among the options available to me include signing benefit tenants to take advantage of government initiated ECO deals in order to cut down installation costs, something I really hadn’t wanted to revisit after a series of expensive repairs, or to sell the property outright and withdraw it completely from the rental market.

I wonder how many Landlords up and down the land are facing a similar dilemma and if this piece of legislation will result in a substantial increase of properties withdrawn from the rental market.



by Rob Spencer

12:16 PM, 13th January 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Matt Wardman at 13/01/2018 - 10:02Thanks Matt for your contribution. The main purpose of writing my article was to point out the reality for many Landlords that have already taken what I consider to be reasonable steps to insulate their property. I feel in the 5 years of owning this mixed commercial property the improvements already made by adding full trickle vented double glazing, full loft insulation and a new gas fire is probably enough for a modest flat. I have electric extractors in the kitchen and bathroom, I keep the flat regularly painted, and have never had a problem with ventilation damp or long void periods. The modern electric thermostatic wall heaters seem to do a good job along with the gas fire to heat a small flat so as you say I don't see why refusing to change these to a fossil fuel burning central heating system should make a huge difference from raising an F category on the new EPC. Add to the fact that my building has thick walls, is not a cold flat and I have never had a tenant complain about heating bills, why should I now insulate the walls and perhaps create problems not previously there . I think that many Landlords in my position rather than adding solar or wall insulation will be increasingly tempted to sell up such property leading to less rental properties and further pressures on local councils. Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to push against new ideas of insulation where it's warranted but there are many Landlords in poorer rental areas already doing an adequate job in providing heating and ventilated properties for tenants and increasing insulation costs and responsibilities in these scenarios I just don't think has been well thought out or in proportion. In essence when my flat "ain't broke" I don't see the need to be bullied by the government into spending yet more to fix a problem that really isn't.

by Jireh Homes

22:20 PM, 13th January 2018, About 4 years ago

Given that EPC prepared with different versions of RdSAP since introduction some 10 years ago it may be a new assessment (latest version of RDSAP just released) may produce a higher score and move your flat up a Band. But more critically engage a local independent surveyor who will work with you to model the permutations before lodging the assessment.

by Rob Spencer

18:59 PM, 20th March 2018, About 4 years ago

Well time for an update on problems faced with obtaining a new EPC rated high enough to be able to continue letting a flat in an well maintained 200 year old mixed commercial building. I wasn't keen on changing recent wall heaters for a central heating system, so I contacted the original EPC assessor to enquire how I could raise the score sufficiently without having to rip out the fairly new thermostatic timed electric wall heaters. The assessor was really helpful and even ran a couple of trial EPC's to see how certain changes would effect the overall score. It panned out that sending a receipt for recent double glazed windows (post 2002) and putting extra hot water insulation on a cylinder tank was enough to elevate an F rated EPC to a more acceptable E rating to allow for continued renting. I hope this helps Landlords like me who may suddenly find themselves with an unacceptable EPC rating.

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