Landlords 'should focus on improving EPCs'

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords should carry out work in order to improve the Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) of their houses.

Research by the British Property Federation (BPF) and Energy Saving Trust (EST) has found that upgrading a home from an F rating to an E rating costs between £100 and £660.

However, regulations are expected to be introduced that will require all properties to be E rated as a minimum standard by 2018, which means people can stay ahead of the game and continue to offer the best possible service to their tenants.

With the 2012 census revealing that 3.6 million homes are currently being rented, energy efficiency will be a key consideration for individuals in the future before they sign tenancy agreements.

In order to make compliance easier, the BPF and EST have come together to release guidance for landlords that shows them how to plan and fund improvements to their properties to help ensure their investment will be lettable from 2018.

Thomas Younespour, senior policy officer at the BPF, said: "The importance of a property's EPC rating is likely to increase in the coming years. Not only have the rules been tightened over the provision and display of EPCs to prospective tenants and buyers, but regulations are planned for April 2018 to ban the letting of property with the poorest ratings - likely to mean F and G rated property."

He added void periods - where a property lies dormant between rentals - offers landlords the perfect opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

David Weatherall, housing strategy manager at the EST, stated that with gas and electric prices showing no sign of coming down, tenants will factor in energy costs when making a decision on a rental property.

Because of this, the expert observed that landlords need to improve wall insulation, windows and heating systems so these benefits can be recognised.

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Published on: January 25, 2013

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