One topic that is generating a lot of discussion among landlords and agents is the government's proposed plan to raise the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of rental properties to a minimum of C or above.

While there is still considerable uncertainty regarding the final regulations, it is crucial for landlords to start thinking ahead and planning for these changes now.

Back in 2018, landlords were required to ensure their rental properties had an EPC rating of E or above. The new plan aims to raise this requirement to a C rating or above by 2025. The proposed bill states:

"The Secretary of State must make necessary amendments to the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/962), which includes the following provisions:

(a) Starting from 31 December 2025, all new tenancies must meet a minimum energy efficiency performance of EPC Band C.

(b) Starting from 31 December 2028, all existing tenancies must meet a minimum energy efficiency performance of EPC Band C, provided it is practical, cost-effective, and affordable as defined under section 1(4)."

EPC ratings are becoming increasingly important to tenants, especially in light of the current cost of living crisis. Therefore, landlords should proactively plan ahead and take necessary actions to improve their properties' EPC ratings. A good starting point is to review the recommendations in your current EPC report. Assess the potential rating and identify the necessary steps to achieve it.

Additionally, it is vital to take the EPC rating into consideration when purchasing a new investment property. Is the current rating low? Can you raise it to a cost-effective C rating?

Although we still await the final decisions from the government, set to be implemented in 2025, it is likely that the current regulations will remain largely unchanged. If you own a property that cannot meet the minimum E or above rating, the government allows for exemptions that enable landlords to continue renting that property. However, landlords must demonstrate that they have completed all feasible improvements to the property's energy efficiency within a cost cap determined by the government.

Please note that the purpose of this content is to provide information and guidance. We advise seeking professional advice for specific legal requirements and implications related to your rental property.

More information will become available on this in due course, which ourselves as agents will share with our clients to best inform and prepare them. However should you like to have a discussion on your individual property and its needs, please reach out to your local branch or dedicated property manager, and we can put you in contact with a qualified EPC assessor.