Last Friday, 1st April 2016 marked the start of the new energy efficiency standards for housing in England and Wales. This is the first step in the UK government’s long-term drive to improve energy efficiency in the private rental sector (PRS) through the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.
From last Friday the 1st of April, all PRS residential tenants have a legal right to request consent to make energy efficiency improvements to their properties. This applies to longer-term assured and regulated tenancies as well.
Providing no upfront costs are required, any landlord who declines to improve the energy efficiency of their properties could be deemed “unreasonable.” The landlord will not be able to unreasonably refuse consent. It will, however, be the responsibility of the tenants to ensure that the works are funded and the intention is that no upfront costs should fall on the landlord, unless the landlord agrees to contribute.
Any property within the definition of a domestic privately rented property is within the scope of the tenant’s rights regulations. If a tenant considers that the landlord has not complied with the regulations, they can take the case to a First-tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber, which will hear and determine applications.
The second stage of compulsory improvements will come into force from April 2018. A landlord will not be able to grant a new tenancy of a property with an EPC rating below an E, and after April 2020 it will apply to all rented properties.
It is likely – but not so far confirmed – that the minimum standard is likely to rise to a D rating by 2025 and a C Rating in 2030. A civil penalty of up to £4,000 will be imposed for breaches.
Article courtesy of LandlordZONE