Rural landlords should be preparing now for new legislation on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).
From 2012, an EPC has been required by anyone letting residential property. It is used to highlight financial savings that could be gained in improving the energy performance of a property as well as giving the tenant – and in particular a new tenant – an idea of the expense of heating that property. In some cases rents have been reduced to compensate for badly performing properties or, at most extreme, properties with poor EPC ratings simply fail to let.
For rented property there is also a legal requirement for an EPC certificate valid for 10 years to be displayed.
But from next year, the EPC system becomes much more stringent.
For example, a tenant will be able to demand that their landlord carries out work recommended on an EPC and the landlord must do so by law.
Then from 2018, it will be illegal to let a property that have an EPC rating below Band E.
Shirley Mathieson, of chartered accountants Saffery Champness warns, “Time is running out for landlords to carry out the measures recommended in the EPCs fr their rental properties. They should not wait until either those improvements are demanded by a tenant or, buy not making the recommended improvements, allow a property to become unlettable.
“When planning works to improve the heat efficiency of their properties landlords should be aware of the potential tax consequences and take advice where necessary to ensure that they are claiming the maximum available relief.”