Energy Performance Certificate Update – What Are The Regulations?

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ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE (EPC) – WHAT ARE THE REGULATIONS?

The regulations regarding Energy Performance Certificates are changing almost every year. The current legislation states that a property with a rating of F or G cannot be let outThis has been the case from the 1st of April 2018. You must show that you have done as much as possible for the tenant to improve the rating beyond the F and G it currently has. Most of the Energy Performance Certificates are now starting to run out as they only last for 10 years. You will find over the last 10 years the ratings have changed dramatically. It may be that you will not need to carry out any work as a landlord within that period. The Government tends to change what is expected of energy performance standards.

CAN I LET MY PROPERTY HAVE AN F ENERGY RATING?

No, to let out a property it must have an energy rating of at least an E. There can be large fines for enforcement which range between £2,000 to a possible maximum fine of £150,000.00.

ARE THE RULES CHANGING AGAIN IN FUTURE?

Yes, the rules will change in future in 2023 and beyond.

Did you know that you must serve it on your tenants, and have it acknowledged to serve a Section 21 Notice?  Please see our previous article on the deregulation bill. The EPC must be served on your tenant at the beginning of the term. If it changes during the term, then you also must have it served again. The serving of the document is not the only thing. You also must have it acknowledged by the tenant to say that they have received it. This is critical.

There are new restrictions on the 1st of April 2023. From the 1st April 2023 property owners must not continue to let properties that have an EPC rating of F or G. From the 1st April all properties with an EPC rating must have a minimum rating of E.

Recent case

We recently had cases where a landlord had been renting the property for some considerable time and wasn’t aware of the rating change. He was subsequently contacted by the local authority to confirm it was unacceptable to rent the property. He contacted us as we didn’t leave the property and passed the property over to us. Unfortunately, there were various breaches which we will mention later but the energy performance certificate was a G.

This was done some considerable time ago and whilst works were needed on the property to bring it further up we instructed another energy performance certificate first. The rules from the previous certificate had changed and we were able to ensure that his EPC was increased to the minimum requirement of E. There was a list of works that could have been carried out to make it even better but it was agreed at the time that this solved the initial problem.

Enforcement and penalties

Landlords aren’t aware that there are enforcements and penalties when dealing with energy performance certificates. You should ensure that you check the updates and why not subscribe to our newsletter to understand this? For breaches that are less than 3 months the landlord renting out a substandard commercial property can lead to a fine of £5,000 or higher ie 10% of the rateable value up to a maximum of £50,000.

Breaches for MEES regulations can trigger a fine higher of £10,000 or 20% of the rateable value up to £150,000. When it comes to residential property it can be a minimum of £10,000 and more depending on the breach and how long it takes.

What happens on commercial property – are energy performance certificates required?

Whilst the breaches of MEES regulations do not affect the velocity of the lease from the 1st April 2023 an occupier will not be able to sublet or continue to sublet unless an EPC rating of E has been claimed.

Certain commercial properties are exempt from the MEES regulation.

Properties do not require an EPC such as;

  • Warehouses that do not use energy to condition the indoor climate.
  • Temporary buildings with an intended life of 2 years or less.
  • Small buildings – stand-alone buildings that are less than 50 square metres.
  • Industrial sites or work sites with low energy demands.
  • Properties are to be demolished but only in certain circumstances.
  • Listed buildings but only if compliance with unacceptable character or appearance. You must be aware of the rules and regulations in this regard.

Further regulations are coming down the line for landlords which will make a substantial difference to your property. The proposals have been made and so far as we are aware are due to be implemented from 2025 onwards. However, this will always be subject to change. The minimum requirements from the 1st of April 2025 will require all properties to raise from an E to a C. This will relate to new tenancies and then from the 1st of April 2028 for existing tenants.

There is a current cost cap which is £3,500 but this is being raised to £5,000 per property. The Government said this will be sufficient to bring more than 90% of D-rated properties up to a C rating, as well as 60% of E-rated properties. It is not clear whether existing spending will count towards a new cap.

However, there is a fabric-first policy due to be introduced. This would control in which order all the work to be carried out. So improvement to the fabric on the building ie installation and windows must be done before items such as a new heating system are installed.

Commercial property

You now have to have a commercial EPC for your business.

When do you need an EPC?

You must have an EPC if you;

  1. Rent out or sell the premises
  2. A building under construction is finished
  3. There are changes to the number of parts used for separate occupation and these changes involve providing or extending fixed heating, air condition or mechanical ventilation.

Did you know you can be fined between £500-£5,000 based on the value of the property if you don’t make an EPC available to a prospective buyer or tenant?

When do you have to display one?

You must display an EPC by fixing it to your commercial building if all of these apply;

  1. The total useful floor area is over 500 square metres.
  2. The building is frequently visited by the public
  3. An EPC has already been produced for the building for sale, rental or construction

How do I get a certificate?

You can only get an energy performance certificate from a commercial energy assessor.

The type of assessor you will need will depend on the complexity and the features of the building. If you need advice in choosing one, speak to a commercial energy assessor or contact the approved quotation scheme they belong to.

What are the exemptions?

You don’t need an energy performance certificate if you can demonstrate that the building is one of these;

  1. Listed or officially protected in the minimum energy performance requirements which would unacceptably alter it.
  2. A temporary building only to be used for two years or less
  3. Used as a place of worship or other religious activities
  4. An industrial site, non-residential or agricultural building that doesn’t use much energy.
  5. A detached building with a total floor space of under 50 square metres.
  6. Due to be demolished by the seller or the landlord they have planning and conservation consent.

Vacant buildings and demolition

A building is also exempt if all of the following are true;

  1. It is due to be sold or rented out with vacant possession
  2. It is suitable for demolition and the site can be redeveloped
  3. The buyer or tenant has applied for planning permission to demolish it

You can review if you get a penalty charge notice. The notice will tell you how to do this. If the review fails you will get a letter confirming your penalty.

You can appeal to the county court but you must do this within 28 days of receiving your confirmed penalty.

Why do I need to get an EPC?

On the 1st of April 2023, the next regulations on EPC came into force by the Government to push net zero emissions by 2050.

It has been confirmed that from that date all rented commercial property will need to have an energy performance certificate rating of band E or better and failing to achieve this will see landlords face potential charges of up to a maximum of £150,000.

What does this mean for landlords?

Landlords are required by law to ensure that their properties meet the required EPC rating. Currently, all commercial property must hold an EPC and a rating band of E or better before any new leases or renewals are granted.

From the 1st of April 2023, this will be extended to all rented commercial properties. This will include properties where the lease is on mid-term.

What will happen in future?

You would need to be aware that there are future proposals for the minimum standards to be increased to band C by April 2027 and band B by April 2030.

Are there going to be any exemptions?

Whilst the new regulations apply to all rental commercial premises (except those leases of less than 6 months, or more than 99 yearslimited exemptions do apply where undertaking works should improve the rating is either not possible or not economically viable.

Any landlord that is seeking to rely on exemption needs to look into this themselves. Every property will be different.

What are the next steps for landlords to be taking?

The key issues for landlords are;

  1. Check whether your property had a valid EPC rating of E or better.
  2. If it is not the case then check whether any leases are due to expire.
  3. If the lease is due to expire after the 1st April 2023 check whether you have the right to access and undertake the works under the terms of the lease.
  4. Check the terms of any current leases to establish whether any costs incurred regarding the EPC can be recovered from the tenant.

Will this apply to my building?

The new regulations are estimated to apply to at least 85% of non-domestic rental buildings.

Rented buildings account for 61% of non-domestic stock in England and Wales and they produce 37.5% of all emissions for non-domestic buildings.

How are the EPC assessments made?

EPC assessments are available at different levels. Commercial properties typically require a level 4 assessment, but this is dependent on the complexity of the building, and engineering services installed, specifically the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Do I need to get the right level of assessment?

It is essential to obtain an accurate rating for your property.

What happens after the assessment?

Once the assessment is complete the recommendation report is a good place to start in establishing what additional measures or works are required to improve the energy rating of your building.

Completing this exercise in advance of needing a new EPC for your property will allow you time to plan a budget for the works required to ensure your building remains lettable at the next lease.

How pays for the work?

Building owners and occupiers need to look carefully at their leases to determine the party responsible for the building fabric and surfaces and therefore who should implement and pay for the approved works.

SUMMARY

It is so important that landlords understand what their legal requirements are. The Government are changing the goalposts almost by the day. They have implemented over 125 new laws within the last five years and a lot of the announcements go under the radar. We always ensure that we are fully updated with any Government announcements and have regular meetings with our solicitors every other month. Please click here if you wish to see the energy performance certificate guidance from the Government. If you are not sure whether you are complying with the legislation, then don’t hesitate to contact our Administration Team at (01273) 749169.

Do you have the proper insurance for your property?

Are you covered in the event there is an insurance claim? Why not contact our sister company Iinsure 365 on 01273 827090 or enquiries@iinsure365.co.uk

Why not look at their Google reviews as they have more than 150 five stars? Click here.

Finally. there are many more news articles on the website, you can read them by clicking here.

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google-review Review
Cat Westmacott
Cat Westmacott
17:57 10 Jun 24
Generally helpful for Lettings. As with any company, sometimes need a push for a response, but often easier to speak on the phone than email. Feeling hopeful for the next year’s contract with Harringtons🤞.
Kirsty Turner
Kirsty Turner
20:50 04 Jun 24
Great experience. Everyone is so lovely and helpful over the phone at Harringtons! The best experience we have had with a letting agent in Brighton, none of the other agents in Brighton have been bothered to keep in touch and help us find a property as much as these guys. A special shoutout to the lovely lady who showed me around the flat (Georgie I believe -sorry if I got that wrong), great at answering all my questions and been very lucky in securing the first property we viewed with her (an amazing spacious flat that has everything we need - including nice storage space for our paddleboards!) Looking forward to moving into our seaside home. Thank you!
Shadan B
Shadan B
23:31 30 May 24
Great experience, very helpful staff and friendly. I wish you all the success. Thanks for your care. 💐😊
Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts
21:13 30 May 24
Best experience I've had with a letting agent!
Charley Besant
Charley Besant
10:25 30 May 24
So far the process with Harringtons has been amazing. We viewed 3 properties with Georgie and each time she was so informative and kind, she gave us the time we needed in each property to look around, take videos and ask questions about everything. The whole process has been easy so far and I can now happily say we found our property thanks to Georgie and the team at Harringtons.
Ainhoa Negro
Ainhoa Negro
09:15 30 May 24
Georgie at Harringtons Lettings in Brighton has been exceptional throughout my rental process. From the very beginning, her professionalism and friendliness stood out. She provided clear and prompt communication, ensuring all my questions were answered thoroughly. Georgie made the entire experience seamless, from viewing properties to finalizing the paperwork. Her attention to detail and genuine care for my needs made me feel confident and supported. I highly recommend Georgie and Harringtons Lettings to anyone looking for a top-notch rental experience in Brighton.
PRBL1
PRBL1
09:11 30 May 24
Joel Starcross
Joel Starcross
15:22 29 May 24
Beth has been an excellent agent, great communicator and enthusiastic member of the team. Highly recommended!
Jess Pond
Jess Pond
13:16 29 May 24
Had an absolutely awful experience with this company. Told me one thing on the phone and then told me another thing on email. Very mixed messages. Left 7 students homeless by putting the house back on the market with only 24 hour notice. Will never use them again. AVOID!
Roisin Lilley
Roisin Lilley
11:42 24 May 24
I recently had some problems with my previous agent and came to Beth for help! She took over the correspondence for me and sorted everything out for me! I can’t thank her enough for her patience and help!! I’d highly recommend her to other landlords that need help!
Chris Lilley
Chris Lilley
11:26 24 May 24
I’ve been a tenant with Harringtons Lettings for a while, they are great, they always sort out any issues I have quickly and efficiently, Beth in particular is really helpful and I’ll be going to her for my next rental property when I look to move in September!
Georgina Palzeaird
Georgina Palzeaird
11:21 24 May 24
Beth Roberts was a huge help when I needed to switch to a new letting agency. She was friendly and efficient and I’ve always felt I’m in safe hands.
Eliya Halim
Eliya Halim
10:26 24 May 24
Top service
Maryana Atiya
Maryana Atiya
10:20 24 May 24
Rees Harper
Rees Harper
17:53 21 May 24
Lauryn Keller
Lauryn Keller
15:20 03 May 24
Georgie was great on our viewing - super lovely, informative and honest. Thank you!
Sammi Richmond
Sammi Richmond
09:16 24 Apr 24
Well, they just contacted me via email asking for a review for money... so here, I guess.Does 3 stars get me that tenner? Probably not. Nothing terrible to say, but never had any issues with the property really. Don't enjoy that they were willing to pay for reviews though, seems sketchy.UPDATE: As the business has finally replied to my review 6 years later, I thought I would mention that I indeed have the email still as proof. Offer of £10 for a review, and to mention Rachel Erridge in the review. Also a prize of £200 to one lucky winner. The email was sent from the Harrington's admin email address. I can email the proof to whoever requests it.
Jayden Charles-Frempong
Jayden Charles-Frempong
01:20 18 Apr 24
Every interaction I've had so far with Harrington has been positive with workers responding to calls very quickly and addressing any queries efficiently.
severin severinov
severin severinov
10:05 11 Apr 24
It is very good that they do their job professionally and take care of the customers.
kate quick
kate quick
13:15 09 Apr 24
I am very happy and extremely grateful to have found Harringtons lettings and the beautiful flat that I am now living in. Not only is the flat perfect for me, ticks all the boxes and is in a great location; the whole communication/admin process was so fast and efficient. I spoke to many of the team, but the two main contacts initially were Georgie and Beth. Great personalities, friendly and fast at replying to emails and phone calls. It was all turned around very quickly and everyone at Harringtons seems to appear to really be happy in their jobs. Great letting agent and I would recommend them to others looking for a new home.
Michael Hollamby
Michael Hollamby
12:32 09 Apr 24
Having worked with many many lettings it has been refreshing to deal with such a dynamic and energetic team. From start to finish the team have outstanding. Special mention to Beth who has been fantastic. I can thoroughly recommend using Harringtons.
Celyn James
Celyn James
17:08 27 Mar 24
Great experience, Georgie was so knowledgeable and kind with any enquiries I had. Really put me at ease while house hunting, amazing service thank you so much!!
Madison Harris
Madison Harris
14:29 27 Mar 24
Georgie was so helpful and really kind very appreciative x
Amber-Rose Cook
Amber-Rose Cook
08:58 22 Mar 24
easy to use and navigate as a first time user
Buffy Vaughn
Buffy Vaughn
18:06 21 Mar 24
Harringtons have been so helpful so far. Everyone we’ve spoken to on the phone including Georgie have been so warm and receptive and easy to communicate with. As a couple renting together for first time me & Danny couldn’t have found better people to help us out, they’re clear and concise. We discovered them through Rightmove and would highly recommend anyone to use their services to rent with.Thanks guys!Buffy & Danny
Sajan Raja
Sajan Raja
01:48 21 Mar 24
Kerryn Johnson
Kerryn Johnson
16:58 18 Mar 24
Georgie was absolutely amazing! Very helpful, easy to talk to and all in all an absolute sweetheart. Made the process of renting and finding a property less stressful. Always happy to help and lovely to chat to!Thank you again for everything!
Julia Reinstein
Julia Reinstein
11:22 18 Mar 24
5/5 - Everyone I’ve spoken to on the phone has been so friendly and patient with our move in documents. We found Harringtons through Rightmove, and have been really happy with our interactions. The team respond to queries efficiently and are happy to answer any and all questions.
Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
07:09 15 Mar 24
A really excellent agency, who are very easy and friendly to deal with. Highly recommended.
Rob Rainbird
Rob Rainbird
18:04 13 Mar 24
Lovely staff and all round positive experience - Georgie is an absolute diamond and a credit to the team!
Tori Tor
Tori Tor
11:15 08 Mar 24
Harringtons have been really helpful and very swift with their responses. Georgie was very proffesional and really friendly when she did the viewings with me and Beth on the phone was again really helpful and gave me hope when I was explaining my eagerness to find somewhere new to live. Thanks Harringtons!
christos papanicolaou
christos papanicolaou
09:33 07 Mar 24
Staff were brilliant. Very helpful
Yasmin Bright
Yasmin Bright
20:54 01 Mar 24
I'm in a difficult situation at the moment with my landlord wanting to sell the flat that myself and my 3 children have been living in for 7 years. I came across Harringtons Viewings by applying to view some properties outside of my area.Unfortunately I haven't been able to sort anything with Harringtons, however I wanted to write this to say that they have been nothing but kind, warm and very understanding of my situation. I've been really impressed by their customer service (namely Georgie & Beth) and hope that they are able to find me something eventually!Thanks so much.Yasmin
Tegan
Tegan
17:30 22 Feb 24
Have been very accommodating and helpful when calling agents. They have been very helpful in being able to secure a house for students.
TheFlyingCrocodile
TheFlyingCrocodile
16:42 21 Feb 24
Went above and beyond to get things sorted for me
Brittany Stace
Brittany Stace
11:18 24 Jan 24
Harringtons have been incredibly helpful and supportive of us as new renters and they have been super efficient in getting all of the documents sent through and signed in such a short period of time. Thank you!
Georgie Prebble
Georgie Prebble
20:36 05 Jan 24
Jade Innes
Jade Innes
10:24 04 Jan 24
So far the service has been good. The staff are very friendly and quick to respond to any questions and requests.
Polly Smith
Polly Smith
11:17 28 Dec 23
we chose this letting agents as they chose a good bills company that is much cheaper than other agents. When viewing houses the staff were very friendly and have been very helpful in answering our questions and making the process as easy as possible.
Emma Howe
Emma Howe
16:06 14 Nov 23
I would rate Harringtons Lettings a 5/5. Very lovely on the phone and very quick and easy to communicate with via email. Any problems have been resolved in no time at all. So far so good!I found Harringtons via Rightmove.
Akwisitions Feedback
Akwisitions Feedback
16:25 30 Oct 23
Very responsive and super helpful throughout the process. Highly recommended!
Chloe Ballard
Chloe Ballard
17:28 02 Oct 23
Although I have only been renting with Harringtons for a short period of time, I have had nothing but a positive experience. From viewing to admin updates. The admin team especially are very polite and quick to respond and I have no doubt that the rest of my tenancy will run smoothly. I would recommend to anyone considering renting in brighton.
Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball
11:46 19 Sep 23
Professional communication with tenant although entirely impersonal. There was a bigger disconnect in their communication with the landlord in most cases, which seemed to be either slow or non-existent (discovered after contacting the landlord directly).Property was full of spider webs on day 1 despite apparently being professionally cleaned. Took a day off of work to clean it on move out day, leaving it cleaner than when it received but still had to pay part of the deposit for professional cleaning.It has been a while since I have rented, but I'll avoid letting agencies completely now if this is anything close to the average renting experience.
Ronan SK
Ronan SK
12:38 12 Sep 23
Great professionalism/communciation from the start up until the end of my tenancy. Definitely set the standards for what agencies should be like. Highly recommend to those within Brighton.
Daniel Sutton
Daniel Sutton
10:29 24 Aug 23
I have rented with Harringtons Lettings before and have always found the agents to be quick, efficient, friendly and helpful. I loved their service so much I have chosen to rent with Harringtons again. Faultless 😊
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