On 30 September 2020, the UK Government opened a consultation seeking views on a suite of policy proposals, setting out how they intend to achieve their commitment to upgrade private rented sector homes in England and Wales to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2030.
The UK Government claim that the proposals set out in the Improving the energy performance of privately rented homes consultation will bring significant benefits to landlords, tenants and our environment including:
New Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements
- All new tenancies from 1 April 2025 and all existing tenancies by 1 April 2028 must meet band C or higher on an EPC.
- Requiring a valid EPC to be in place at all times while a property is let.
Other new controls/duties for landlords
- The requirement for landlords to install ‘fabric first’ measures e.g. insulation.
- The private rented sector to support the uptake of smart meters.
- Powers for tenants to request improvements and redress where a property is in breach.
Penalties and compliance proposals
- Introduction of a private rented sector property compliance and exemptions database.
- Increase the maximum fine level to £30,000 per property for each breach of the regulations.
- Enable local authorities to use EPC Open Data, introduce benchmarking and inspect properties to improve compliance with the rules.
Requirements for letting agents
- Requirement on letting agents and online property platforms to only advertise and let properties compliant with the rules.
- Requiring landlords to provide an EPC prior to a property being advertised.
Cost cap and affordability proposals
- Introduction of an affordability exemption.
- Increasing the cost cap to £10,000 inclusive of VAT per property.
- Updated exemption regime to come into force on 1 April 2025.