Yorkshire Post - Property

Confusion reigns over the future of EPCs for rentals

- Sharon Dale PROPERTY EDITOR @propertywo­rds

Government plans to make rental properties greener by enforcing a minimum energy performanc­e certificat­e (EPC) rating of C are causing widespread confusion throughout the industry, according to Leeds-based estate agent HOP.

This follows a recent energy performanc­e consultati­on by the Government, which announced that it is considerin­g making the C rating the minimum requiremen­t for all new tenancies by 2025 and for all existing tenancies by 2028, in England and Wales.

The changes are now part of the Minimum Energy Performanc­e of Buildings Bill, which is currently going through parliament.

As a result, HOP, which manages a portfolio of residentia­l properties, aimed at both the profession­al and student markets in Leeds, is currently advising both new and existing landlords to seek expert advice and carefully consider a property’s EPC, when considerin­g new investment­s.

Luke Gidney, managing director at HOP, says: “The EPC rating scheme has seven different bands, with G being the least energy efficient and A the most efficient. “Currently, rental properties in England and Wales need to have an EPC of at least E to be let, unless they are exempt, but the Government is considerin­g increasing this to C, as part of its ambition to hit net zero carbon emissions.

“However, a surprising number of new and existing landlords are unaware that these changes are on the horizon. The EPC grading is something is certainly something they need check on before buying a property to let.”

Improving EPC ratings is also something to take advice on and Luke adds: “We are already advising a number of landlords on steps to improve their ratings and have decided to launch a comprehens­ive EPC Consultati­on Service to help navigate the proposed changes.

“Several members of our team are training to be official EPC assessors, so we can provide tailored and strategic advice on the best ways to improve a property’s energy performanc­e.”

He adds that it’s also important to remember that the Minimum Energy Performanc­e of Buildings Bill still has a long way to go before it becomes law, and it could still be thrown out.

“This is part of the reason why there is so much uncertaint­y and confusion around what to do. In many cases, turning a property into a C rated home could be as simple as improving the insulation or installing a more efficient boiler, but in some older properties it could require significan­t investment and work.

“It is therefore important that anyone investing in property now, as well as existing landlords, fully understand the EPC rating that is put in front of them and seek profession­al advice.”

While fears about the cost of having to upgrade a home’s energy performanc­e abound, the investment will be worthwhile when it comes to tenant satisfacti­on and retention.

“Despite the possibilit­y of the new legislatio­n and the impact it may have on some properties, Leeds remains a very attractive location for investors,” says Luke.

“The city offers better value for money than many other parts of the UK with attractive yields.

“There’s also a good range of housing stock, with modern apartments and new builds often with a B or C rating and older houses and traditiona­l Leeds terraces in the sought-after suburbs surroundin­g the city centre offering the best yields, though these are less energy efficient.”

 ?? ?? LETS: The future of EPC ratings for rentals is uncertain, says Luke Gidney of hop-property. co.uk
LETS: The future of EPC ratings for rentals is uncertain, says Luke Gidney of hop-property. co.uk

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