Private landlords with properties on the exemption register with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G will now have to show that the costs to bring the property up to an E rating would be greater than £3,500 (including VAT) after new rules were introduced.
Under the Energy Act 2011, the government pledged to avoid any ‘upfront costs’ for landlords, but this principle was disregarded by setting the cap at £3,500 in November last year.
The key changes came into effect on 1 April.
The existing MEES requirements mean that landlords with properties which require an EPC cannot start new tenancies in England and Wales in properties with a rating lower than E.
From April 2020, all existing tenancies which require an EPC will need to have a minimum E rating.
The government’s ambition is to bring all property up to a Band C by 2030.
David Cox, chief executive, ARLA Propertymark, previously described the new cap as “bad news for the private rented sector”.
He commented: “Over the last few years, the financial burdens faced by landlords have increased time after time, which is pushing rent costs up and driving buy-to-let investors out of the market.”
ARLA Propertymark wants the government to show its support for landlords by reintroducing the Landlords’ Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) and extending it to include anything contained within the ‘recommendations report’ of an EPC.