Energy Performance Rating Changes
Landlords and commercial premises operators need to be aware of forthcoming changes to energy efficiency regulations that could reap financial penalties for those in breach.
Following an audit that was conducted into Energy Performance Ratings (EPC), it was discovered that 22% of domestic properties in the UK had an EPC rating E’ or below, while non-domestic properties reached 28% for the same grading.
Such figures prompted immediate action in regards to both property types. An alteration in regulations to the ‘Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)’ was made in 2015, for which level E’ on the EPC scale was selected the grade for conformity. Consequently, as of April 2018, those properties rated F’ or G’ will be required by law to improve their status or alternatively face civil penalisation. Likewise, by 2023 the same will apply to commercial properties.
With time running out, there are a few easy steps that can be taken to ensure that you attain the appropriate grading. These can be as simple as insulating walls and loft space, exchanging single-glazed windows with double-glazing, installing LED lighting, replacing existing utility items such as radiators, boilers, fridges and freezers with modern efficient models.
Local authorities will be tracking those who fail to meet the criteria. In the first instance a compliance notice will be issued and thereafter those considered non-compliant will receive a financial penalty, a publication penalty, or both. The infringement will be determined by the level to which the Landlord is deemed to have fallen short.
Renting out a property that has been in breach of energy efficiency regulations for less than three months will result in a fine of up to £2,000 and/or a publication penalty, while those failing for three months or more will result in a fine of up to £4,000 and/or a publication penalty. Failing to follow up or comply with a compliance notice will result in an additional fine of up to £2,000 and/or a publication penalty.
Landlords may appeal penalties they have been given by taking them to the First-tier Tribunal for review within 28 days of the local authority’s decision to issue the penalty.
In some cases, exemptions to the new energy efficiency regulations exist. For instance, if a building is incompatible with certain improvements, where financial access prevents upgrades taking place, or if the market value is reduced by more than 5% upon the installation of recommended energy efficiency measures, and finally if a Landlord has only recently taken control of a property due to a change in circumstances.
Mick’s Mates, the installation service provided by Mick George Ltd can ensure all your legal obligations are achieved. Get in contact now!