Rebecca Whitehead, lettings director for Gascoigne Halman takes a look at the new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) legislation and what it means for property landlords…
Every rental property in the UK must have an EPC. The certificates use a scale of A to G, with A being highly efficient properties and G being the least energy efficient. The same scale is used to define the environmental impact of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of a property. Currently, most properties in Britain are band D or E.
From April 2025, every newly let property in the private rental sector will need an energy performance certificate of grade C or higher, up from E currently. This new rule has been introduced by the government as part of its commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. The measure will also apply to existing tenancies from 2028.
If you own a rental property with an EPC below a Grade C there are several things, you should consider over the coming months to ensure you are ready for the proposed changes in legislation. These are:
When was your last EPC assessment?
If your EPC was done a several years ago, the first thing to do is to book a new EPC assessment to obtain an up-to-date grade. Existing grades may be outdated due to any changes made to the property since the report was produced. Any advancements in technology used by EPC engineers will also impact on the grade and it could increase.
What will I need to do to get my EPC to a Grade C?
Your new EPC report will detail actions that can be taken to improve the grade. Some of these may be as simple as changing the type of lightbulb, others may be relatively minor such as fitting loft insulation. Some older properties may need larger upgrade projects that will require more time and planning.
Should I do the work now or wait?
This is really a subjective decision. It is likely that once the legislation has been passed, there will be a period of grace to allow landlords time to upgrade their properties. During this period, it is likely green EPC deals and financial support deals will be offered to landlords. It is not yet clear if these offers will be able to be applied to works done retrospectively. Government will want to make upgrading as easy as possible for landlords because the alternative is that landlords will sell properties and this would add more pressure to the private rental sector.
However, demand for tradesmen and products required for upgrades is likely to spike from late 2024. Early birds may choose to avoid the rush and focus on upgrading properties sooner rather than later. Work with your tenants to organise any upgrades at minimum inconvenience to them or consider utilising the void between tenancies.
Should I buy a new investment property with an EPC below Grade C
This should be a consideration when buying an investment property, but it is not an absolute deterrent. Apply the points above and weigh up the costs of upgrading the property against the long-term profit you are hoping to make from it.
Our expert Property Management Team can handle all the above for you, whether you are an existing client or a landlord seeking one-off EPC support.
Get in touch with us and we’ll ensure you remain fully compliant now, in 2025 and beyond.