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Is your property energy efficient?

Under the original proposals, landlords had to ensure their properties had an EPC rating of C or higher. They agreed that this target had to be met for all new tenancies by 2025, followed by all existing tenancies from 2028. These EPC changes have now been discarded and instead the government says it will encourage landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties where possible, as there are still good reasons for improving the energy efficiency of your rental properties.

At present, the government have no plans to reintroduce the EPC changes, but we are in the run up to a general election. It is understood that this must take place no later than 28 January 2025, but it is widely expected to occur in 2024, to which further EPC announcements may be made.

By upgrading the energy efficiency of your rental property, it can only make it more attractive to tenants. While some energy bills have dropped since their recent peak, they are still much more expensive than they were previously and as a result, many tenants will be looking for homes that are less costly to heat.

The government has announced other measures relating to energy efficiency. The below three may be of interest to landlords. These are:

  1. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant will increase to £7,500. This money can be used to upgrade from a gas boiler to air source or ground source heat pumps. The scheme is open to landlords and you can check your eligibility here.
  2. Oil and LPG boiler installations in off-gas-grid homes will be allowed to continue until 2035. They were to be phased out from 2026.
  3. There’ll be an exemption when fossil fuel (including gas) boilers are phased out in 2035. Households that struggle to switch to heat pumps or other eco-friendly alternatives may not have to. It’s thought this will cover about a fifth of homes, particularly those that require expensive retrofitting or a more powerful electricity connection.

If you’ve not already upgraded the energy efficiency of your rental properties, you no longer have to for now, but if you had plans to implement the former EPC changes, it may still be wise to do so. There’s no guarantee the changes won’t be re-introduced. The thing to remember with all of this is that tenants are now more likely than ever before, to want a more energy efficient home.

We have trusted EPC assessors we can relay on to chat through any questions or queries you may have about your property, and we have also recently been approached by a third party – Heatsave, to see if you may be interested in one of their assessors visiting your rental property to establish what improvements could be made, at no cost to you as the landlord (this typically applies to low income households of those occupying the property).

Contact Sarah Gemmell in Lettings at sarah@cdrural.co.uk for more details regarding the changes to EPCs or if you would like your property assessed for energy saving improvements.

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