Very soon, many tenants in the UK will note a decrease in their accounts for renting an apartment. And this time, the house owners will have to shell out.
On April 1st, a new law came into effect, according to which homeowners must ensure that the property they give to residents has a certificate of energy efficiency EPC with a rating of E and above, but in no case lower. Otherwise, the landlord will not have the right to rent out apartments to residents.
In other words, now homeowners cannot lease property that does not meet the new energy efficiency standards - Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard. Otherwise, this will be considered a violation of the law and will result in a fine for the landlord.
The purpose of the innovation is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in all houses of the country to a minimum.
The problem is that many people, both homeowners and tenants, have no idea about the new law. In particular, the insurance company Just Landlords conducted a survey and found that only 4% of homeowners are aware of the new law, while 73% of homeowners and tenants do not know about the EPC rating; 65% do not know that improving the rating will result in huge savings.
What is Energy Efficiency Certificate of EPC.
The EPC's goal is to show how much energy a housing uses and how efficient it is. Apartments and houses are sorted in the rating from A (most energy efficient) to G (less energy efficient). On paper housing rating A is designated by green, and G – by red.
The EPC is a legal requirement for all renters, and homeowners are required to provide a copy of this document as early as possible - ideally at the first inspection of the housing.
How to find out what EPC rating the housing has.
There are two ways to do this.
If you have a Report Reference Number printed on an EPC document or provided by an Energy Assessor consisting of 24 digits, you can go to this website.
Or you can search by your index here.
How many houses the new law will affect?
According to the latest figures, about 300 thousand houses that are leased are designated by the rating F or G, that is, they do not fall under the new minimum standards. Although this figure has greatly decreased from 700 thousand in 2012, many homes do not meet the new energy standards. The Green Building Council estimated that, on average, the cost of raising the rating to a minimum would cost £1,400.
What these changes mean to renters.
If your accommodation is rated F or G, then this is great news for you.
On average, the energy bill for apartments with the G rating is £2860 per year, and with the F rating - £2180 per year. For comparison, tenants of apartments of rating E pay £1710 per year. This means that a tenant, whose rating will be improved, will pay £1150 less per year.
In addition, you will live in a more comfortable and environmentally friendly home. You will enjoy double-glazed windows, additional insulation, a new boiler, energy-efficient LED bulbs and other things.
What if the landlord breaks the law.
If the property rating is below the E level, the landlord will not be able to renew the lease contract or start renting out the apartment to new tenants. For this, he can wait for a fine of up to £4000.
The problem is that it is not clear how the new law will be tested. If you think that the landlord is breaking the law, according to the current rules, you do not have any rights to ask him about raising the housing rating. All you can do is try to contact the local authorities.
Can the rent payment increase?
Most experts were very positive about the new law. But some concerns also appeared. First, homeowners can raise rental payments to cover the costs associated with raising the rating. Secondly, many homeowners will decide to sell the house, which will inevitably lead to a decrease in offers in the real estate market leased, and an increase in rental payment.
On the other hand, experts explain that raising the rating of the house will make the rented out housing more attractive, which will only help the homeowners.
This is only the first step towards improving the ecology in Britain. After the worst houses with the F and G ratings, the following requirement will be to bring the property rating up to levels D and C. This will happen in this order:
April 1, 2020 - all residential houses should rise, at least, to the rating E, even if someone lives in there at the moment;
April 1, 2023 - all non-residential houses must rise to the E rating;
2025 and further - the minimum standard, most likely, will rise to the D rating by 2025, and to C - until 2030.