Surely I am not the only landlord worried about new EPC requirements?

Surely I am not the only landlord worried about new EPC requirements?

9:44 AM, 17th February 2021, About 10 months ago 154

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Hello, I was wondering if Property118 could shed some light on the new proposed changes to the EPC requirements – my understanding is that over the next few years 2025 onwards, properties in the PRS have to be rated a C as a minimum. Currently, has to be above an E.

My worry is that the government seems to be applying this rule to all properties regardless of age, although I think it may be different if it is listed. It is not difficult for a new property to meet the requirements of a C or about.

However, as the owner of several Victorian terraces, it is much more difficult if not impossible to get this rating. For example, we do not have cavity walls. I have done all the usual things like loft insulation, double glazing, energy-efficient boilers etc etc but other suggested improvements seem to be a lot of outlay for very little impact on the EPC.

For example, I think the only improvement that has been suggested is using solar panels, but the property is not suitable for solar panels.  I am concerned that I may not be able to meet the new requirements despite my best efforts.

Surely I am not the only landlord who is worried about this?

Is there a campaign to ask for property age to be taken into consideration?

Thank you

Su



Comments

by Denise G

14:44 PM, 21st February 2021, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 21/02/2021 - 13:29
do they seriously think we'd be removing cavity wall insulation, loft lagging etc once it was present???

by Bob S

19:45 PM, 21st February 2021, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Esat Karahasan at 21/02/2021 - 13:53
Esat, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to support your approach regarding using past historical information as the assessors I’ve met on my EPC assessment days toe the same line as being reported here by other commentators that it is what they see on the day that counts. Earlier today I asked the assessment company I’ve previously used as I asked you in my 20.2.21 21.10 comment to provide guidance from the assessors guide as to page and paragraph of what a LL can submit to be included in as assessment. We are looking for evidence of procedure that we can follow when submitting information (if that’s possible at all) to support the improvements carried out on our properties. If what you are suggesting is not supported by evidence then it is only opinion and hearsay that is being offered. LLs have a ‘stake in the result’ and need more than that when faced with cessation of their business.

Perhaps readers may wish to ask similar questions of their assessors or on the link below to see if the response is procedurally consistent, ie it’s what they see on the day.

https://getting-new-energy-certificate.digital.communities.gov.uk/find-an-assessor/search-by-name

by Esat Karahasan

20:46 PM, 21st February 2021, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by ROBERT STAMP at 21/02/2021 - 19:45
Hi Robert,

Honestly I would not be surprised if it was not stated clearly in the assessors guide, we have come across so many grey areas it is unbelievable. My comments are not hearsay but factual accounts based on experience in lodging EPCs with Stroma and providing evidence through an audit process.

It goes without saying that yes an EPC should be based on what is seen on the day, other unseen things can be built in through the software assumptions etc based on planning and building regulations, however many improvements do not require planning or building regulations and can not be seen. Equally it goes without saying that expecting a landlord to rip up loft boarding and relay or drill bore holes into walls and make good for such a process repeatedly would be unreasonable.

The point I made that you seemed to have missed is that using these photos alone is not sufficient and there is other visual evidence taken on assessment and other documentation to accompany this such as invoices for installation and a specification (sometimes alone sufficient evidence) that can be submitted as evidence during an audit that will allow for improvements such as internal/external wall insulation, loft/suspended floor insulation to be included.

I will email Stroma in the morning and ask for written confirmation of this if that’s what you require, or you can continue to tell people they need to fork out for and carry out silly work every ten years to prove something is still there.

by Esat Karahasan

20:54 PM, 21st February 2021, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by ROBERT STAMP at 21/02/2021 - 19:45
In short what I am explaining is a non standard way around the scenario to avoid unnecessary work, I remind you several times I have said it will be through an “Audit” not through the lodgement alone.

It’s about building a case and presenting it to the accreditation body, we have had much experience in doing these type of submissions through Stroma with a high success rate.

by Manu Patel

23:31 PM, 21st February 2021, About 9 months ago

I insulated all my properties with cavity insulation and some with with external walls lined with insulated plaster boards on the inside with also Condensing boilers and all bulbs changed to LED.
The floors and ceilings cannot be insulated as they are concrete!
Looked into installing Air Source heat Pumps but the costs quoted are between 12 to 14 thousand pounds and none of them would guarantee the maximum power that it would be required to run these .
Got Solars panels on one of the properties 5 years ago for £ 5500 being guaranteed to generate 3.5 to 4.00KW for at least 20 years! Has never done even half and now only produces about 10 to 20% only. The Installer company has gone into liquidation ans so has the Insurance company that backed the guarantee.
Tried to look into replacing the whole system and they have gone up in Price to 6.5 to 8.00 thousand pounds although the solar panels are supposed to have gone down in price!
Someone has commented you can have them installed for £2500. I wonder on what planet!
There does not seem to be any economical way of achieving the future EPC rating of C.
Can someone in our Government advise?

by Mark Hartell

2:04 AM, 22nd February 2021, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Esat Karahasan at 21/02/2021 - 02:52
Yes Esat - I would love some advice and options. How do I get in touch with your team?

by DSR

13:32 PM, 22nd February 2021, About 9 months ago

I have just sent a formal complaint to the council where I have three flats as the Council have refused to allow the Government agreed installer, though a Government decreed initiative, paid for in part by the Government to install cavity wall insulation to properties that only house benefit tenants.
Access to the properties is only viable from the main road, of which a tiny part needs cordening off for 2 hours to be able for the insulation to be pumped into the property walls. This is on a single road, where all businesses are shut and we are still in lockdown.
And this is me being a proactive Landlord to help those the Council can't house!

by Esat Karahasan

13:52 PM, 22nd February 2021, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Hartell at 22/02/2021 - 02:04
Hi Mark,

Please send your contact details to epc@tpic.co.uk and one of our energy assessor team will be in touch as soon as possible.

by Esat Karahasan

13:55 PM, 22nd February 2021, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Manu Patel at 21/02/2021 - 23:31
Seems like you maybe referring to the limited information on an EPC recommendations report for improvement guidance and there are other options you could look at. If you would like to run through your property specifics and get some free no obligation advice on other options available to you please let me know and I can get you in touch with my energy assessment team.

by Bob S

16:12 PM, 22nd February 2021, About 9 months ago

Good afternoon All,

Today I have spoken with both Elmhurst and Stroma. These are two of the EPC accrediting bodies empowered by government to ensure that EPC assessors deliver a consistent and valid lodgement of the assessment. Both confirmed that the audit is an internal QA system to ensure that assessments are valid and carried out to the highest of standards and are currently 'called in' on a % basis although following a government consultation there are moves to make this a smart audit that responds to the data submitted. Both were surprised that audits could be used to press a case post lodgement.

I also enquired as to what 'evidence of' can be provided by landlords at the point of assessment that will demonstrate that the works carried out in the preceding 10 years will be accepted by the assessor, the guidance having to be there to allow the LL to focus their delivery of 'evidence of' and for the assessor to understand what would be allowable.

Stroma could only offer that the assessor is the point of contact for the Client and were not willing to further the discussion, ie, on the day of the assessment, thus leaving the LL exposed to interpretation by the assessor.

Elmhurst were very helpful and directed me to their website and information for Landlords as per the following link (their website also provides information of a wider nature relating to consultations and changes within the field):

https://www.elmhurstenergy.co.uk/minimum-energy-efficiency-standards-mees-for-landlords

The web page provides useful information regarding MEES and EPCs but still does not go into the level of detail to bring comfort to myself as a LL that the work I undertake will be recognised in an assessment. In further discussion however, the message from Elmhurst was have your installers write to you as the LL giving chapter and verse of where (drawings), what (specs, invoices, photos) and when for the improvements made. Like many I perform the works myself and for these works a professional (RICS or similar) inspection again giving chapter and verse of where, what, when the works were would be acceptable. I am still nervous though that if such direction is not given to the assessors to accept this level of information then the fight starts again.

We still need firm clarity of what will be acceptable up front so that LLs can plan financial and time resources to engage with the works in an assured manner and not a knight in shining armour to enter the fray at the end for a charge...

This is not a note in support of repeated opening up of the property nor of finding a work around but a note that places a challenge on the government and the Accrediting Bodies to recognise that investment by LL warrants recognition and appropriate measurement and recording. Yes, I have signed the petition!

And a cautionary note for all to only use assessors that appear on the government EPC register.

https://getting-new-energy-certificate.digital.communities.gov.uk/find-an-assessor/search-by-name


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