Landlords in England and Wales are being warned they could face being banned from letting if they do not upgrade their E and F rated properties ahead of new energy standards coming into effect next year.
With just nine months until the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) come into effect, landlords need to ensure that their properties meet the new standards, or they could be banned from renting them out in a bid to cut energy bills and carbon emissions.
Industry estimates suggest that as many as 700,000 rental properties could fall below the new minimum legal requirements for energy efficiency. That amounts to one in six rental properties in England and Wales.
According to research by the European Union, UK homes are some of the most expensive to heat in Europe. The research claims that more than 10 million British families live in a home with structural problems, including a leaking roof, damp or rotting windows, though many of these homes will be outside the private rented sector.
Peter Armistead, Managing Director of Armistead Property, said; “This legislation will have a significant impact on landlords with older, draughty properties.
“It is estimated that around 1 million tenants are paying as much as £1,000 a year more for heating than the average bill of £1,265. These excessive costs are mainly down to poorly insulated homes.”
The majority of landlords keep their properties maintained to a high standard and should either already meet the new energy standards or should have to make only small changes to their properties in order to be compliant with the new rules.
Given the risk they could be banned from renting out non-compliant properties however, which would mean landlords losing rental income, it is important they understand what they are required to do and make any necessary changes before the new standards come into force.
The new energy efficiency rules could also impact on landlords’ ability to take out a new mortgage.
According to Mr Armistead; “Buy to let mortgage providers will also require borrowers to comply with the regulations and valuers are likely to amend their criteria in the run up to 2018, making BTL mortgage applications more difficult.
“As a matter of urgency, agents and landlords that are currently renting out F and G rated properties should be reviewing the improvements that can be made and seeking help that is available through the Government’s Green Deal.”
The new energy efficiency rules are just one of a number of recent reforms affecting the private rented sector, with Section 24 phasing out mortgage interest tax relief, tenants’ fees being capped and the hike in Stamp Duty.
If you’re a landlord worried about the impact of these recent changes on your finances, contact Landlord Debt Advisory on 0161 222 4311 or online at landlorddebtadvisory.com.