Back in April 2018, the MEES regulations came into force and any property in the UK private rental sector now requires a minimum rating of Band E on an Energy Performance Certificate. It became unlawful for landlords to rent properties that didn’t have a minimum Band E rating unless there is an applicable exemption. Currently, a new bill is making its way through parliament to update these energy performance requirements.
If you’re a landlord and you’re unaware of the proposed upcoming legislative changes or you’re interested in buying a buy-to-let property and you’d like to find out more, below we have looked into how this new bill could impact the UK rental market.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
Simply put, an Energy Performance Certificate, commonly referred to as an EPC, summarises the energy efficiency of a building and each certificate is valid for 10 years.
An EPC contains information about the energy consumption of a property and provides cost-effective recommendations about how to improve energy efficiency. It also gives a property an overall energy efficiency rating too and EPC ratings vary from Band A, being the most efficient, to Band G, being the least efficient.
What are the proposed changes?
More pressure is being placed on people to improve their energy efficiency. The government is implementing various policies and proposals to decarbonise all sectors of the UK economy in an attempt to meet its net zero target by 2050.
The bill making its way through parliament proposes that all rental properties will need to have a minimum EPC rating of a Band C. It is proposed that this update to the existing MEES regulations will come into effect from the end of December 2025 for new tenancies and the end of December 2028 for existing tenancies.
What should landlords be doing now?
Although this bill hasn’t yet been passed by parliament, it is predicted that the government will be keen to implement this new legislation to improve the energy efficiency of properties. Should this change to regulations come into effect, landlords will be solely responsible for ensuring their rental properties have an EPC rating of Band C or above, unless they meet the criteria for an exemption, and many are already starting to make changes to their rental properties.
Ultimately, landlords will be unable to begin new tenancies from 2025 unless they make energy-efficient improvements to their rental properties and increase their EPC rating. This is concerning for both landlords and tenants, and there is a risk that a lot of properties will become ‘unrentable’ in the next few years if required changes are unaffordable. There will likely be an increase in landlords applying for bridging finance to help them cover the cost of any renovations required to make their property more energy-efficient.
It is advised that all landlords start looking at the recommendations about how to reduce energy use on their current Energy Performance Certificate. They can then start to implement some of the most straightforward and cost-effective improvements to their rental property, helping to ensure it will be rated Band C or above in 2025.
Getting some tailored mortgage advice
Whether you’d like to find out more about bridging finance or buy-to-let mortgages, feel free to contact our mortgage consultants at Blue Q. We have a brilliant team of mortgage advisors in the Twickenham area that can provide you with tailored advice on all aspects of the mortgage market. We assist everyone from first-time buyers to landlords with huge portfolios of properties and we pride ourselves on providing honest and sound advice, helping borrowers find the best mortgage deals. We can make the whole mortgage process much less stressful and we are here to help in any way we can.
Feel free to explore our website today to find out more about the mortgage products we can assist you with and don’t hesitate to book an appointment with a member of our team to discuss your mortgage requirements in more detail.