Andrea Wong, 28 February 2017
Whilst landlords may not specifically prioritise energy efficiency when trying to improve their private rental property, it may become an essential step to meet requirements implemented by the government. Alarmingly, it has been reported that 17% of rental properties in the UK market may become unrentable by 2018.
The legislation states that with F & G rated properties, tenants can request improvements such as insulation and the landlord is legally bound to carry out the works to bring the property up to an E rating. The proposed changes have been passed and come into effect from 1st April 2018, whereby the minimum standard for new and renewed tenancies on a residential dwelling will be an E rating. It will be an offence to rent a property to a new tenant or renew your contract with a current tenant with an F or G rating, and landlords could be penalised for non-compliance.
The recent Landlord Knowledge Survey suggested that many landlords lack knowledge and awareness of current and upcoming legislation. Lettings agents have become more important than ever in assisting landlords with complicated private rental issues and aiding them in regards to improving the quality of their rental property.
Unfortunately for landlords, reports suggest that there are many properties within the market that may not pass the energy efficient standards proposed by the government. They will need to act now to get their properties up to the required standard before the legislation comes into effect next year. There are several ways in which landlords can upgrade the EPC rating. These include loft and cavity insulation, double glazed PVC windows and improving the central heating system.
According to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, 65% of F and G EPC rated private rentals were built pre-1919, so landlords that own and let older properties will have to find ways to improve their energy efficiency.
The survey, which included results from almost 4,000 buy-to-let investors, covered numerous other issues in the UK property market today. It also revealed that approximately 70% of landlords are unaware of the procedures involved in the Right To Rent regulations that were put in place a year ago. Furthermore, 90% of landlords made errors when being questioned on their responsibilities over tenancy agreements.
It is possible that lack of awareness from landlords could be down to the fact that an influx of regulations has recently been brought in and they have simply struggled to keep up to date with the current situation in the rental market. Nevertheless, these are problems that cannot be avoided.
These are measures which aim to control the quality of private rental properties and ensure that landlords are improving standards on behalf of tenants. However, for the new legislation to be effective there must be support for landlords looking to make the necessary changes and ensure that the rental market continues to be vibrant and efficient in the future.
Appointing a lettings agent is by far the simplest way to deal with all the rules and regulations as self-management of rental properties is becoming increasing more difficult due to changing legislations. For more information on the service offered by Intus Lettings, please click here.
Andrea Wong, 28 February 2017