From 1 April 2018, it was brought into practice that any new tenancy, (including renewal or extension on fixed terms), the property was to have a minimum energy rating of “E”. The rating is found on the Energy performance Certificate for the property.
From 1 April 2020, the minimum level “E” now applies to all tenancies – including existing.
The easiest way to comply is to ensure the energy rating is at an “E” or better! it would be prudent to have a report taken out by a qualified assessor who can list improvements they recommend. By far the most impact is by having a modern condensing type boiler (there are potential Government Grants available dependent on tenant benefits, current heating systems etc) but of course, this is not always possible with more rural properties or those with electric heating. Another option is to consider improving the amount of loft insulation and LED bulbs have a small beneficial impact.
Please be aware that the assessor will generally only evaluate what can be seen without intrusive investigation. Therefore, if the walls have been insulated and then skimmed over the assessor has no evidence of the insulation and so this won’t be counted, unless the assessor can physically see the insulation. If loft access for the inspection of insulation is not available they will use the term ‘assumed’ which could impact a score.
The energy performance certificate will show a list of recommendations. These are known as “relevant energy efficiency improvements”.
The minimum energy requirements only apply to the following types of tenancy:
- Assured or assured shorthold tenancy (Housing Act 1988) (AST or Fixed Term)
- Regulated tenancy (Rent Act 1977)
- Domestic agricultural tenancy
The guidance clarifies that in most cases an EPC is required on a listed building. However, it may well be the case that if the building doesn’t achieve the minimum rating, an exemption may apply if consent cannot be obtained to carry out the improvements, we would need a copy of your certificate to confirm this is the case.
National PRS Exemptions Register
There are a number of exemptions from having to achieve an “E” rating or better. But, in all cases, the property must then be registered on the National PRS Exemptions Register which will normally last for five years after which an attempt must again be made to bring the property up to the minimum rating. This is a public database allowing enforcement authorities easy access to check whether a rented property has been placed on the register.
Where all the ‘relevant energy efficiency improvements’ for the property have been made (or there are none that can be made) and the property remains sub-standard
If all the recommendations shown on the EPC have been completed and the property still doesn’t achieve the minimum rating, the property will be exempt and as such will need registering.
Where a recommended measure is not a “relevant energy efficiency improvement” because the cost of purchasing and installing it exceeds £3,500
From 1 April 2019, if the landlord cannot make any recommendations to bring the property up to the minimum rating after spending up to £3,500, either wholly financed by the landlord or partly financed by grant schemes and the landlord, the property can be registered as exempt.
To find help to register the property see https://onestopepc.co.uk/blog/ufaqs/i-register-mees-exemption-prs-exemption-register-evidence-required/