Energy performance rules set to place property market in turmoil

Property investors in Bath are being alerted to new rules that come into force on 1 April 2018 which could mean they are banned from renting out their homes to tenants.

The new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Regulations will effectively force landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of properties currently rated F and G to a minimum of E by the April 2018 date or face being unable to let them until the rating is improved.

With the city of Bath being dominated by classic Georgian architecture where high ceilings and large bay-fronted rooms are common, could see landlords being saddled with hefty energy efficiency improvement bills or worse still void properties.

Mary Timlin, sales and marketing director at Crest Nicholson believes that despite all the warnings, the rental market has not fully woken up to the introduction of the new EPC regulations. 

Mary said: “The requirement to have an EPC in place before marketing a property has been in force for over five years, but after 2018 it will become unlawful for any residential or commercial property to be let where it has an EPC rating of below band E.

“At present, awareness amongst occupiers remains relatively low, but this will only rise as time progresses as the potential impact of the legislation is recognised. 

“From a tenant’s perspective, the forthcoming changes mean that they may find that they can potentially drive down their rent or threaten to move on if the required improvements aren’t made.

“The landlord will then be unable to re-let or sell the property without carrying out potentially costly works to improve its energy efficiency rating.”

Mary’s view is that those looking to invest in property in Bath would be best advised to look at the new property market and in particular Bath Riverside, a brand new development of apartments, penthouses, townhouses, villas and mews homes on the south bank of the River Avon.

Nick Gale from Crisp Cowley, one of Bath’s leading estate and letting agents in Bath, is also keen to point out that from April 2016 residential tenants will be able to request that their landlords make energy efficiency improvements to properties where reasonable requests cannot be refused.

Nick added: “In terms of residential properties, the new legislation is likely to affect both small buy-to-let landlords and large portfolio holders.

“There are many reasons why someone who is interested in investing in property might choose to look at a new building, rather than an older one. The most obvious is that they can expect there to be virtually no initial maintenance costs - always a tremendous benefit for a landlord.

“Also, the first impression made on potential tenants of an immaculate new building is likely to be very favourable.

“Tenants who live here will have the advantage of having everything right on their doorstep and is why we believe Bath Riverside holds all the cards when it comes to tempting investors.”

With the pick of some of the most popular shopping streets in the country along with any number of world heritage sites within a short walking distance, there are clearly compelling reasons to take a closer look at Bath Riverside.

For further information please call 01225 463517 or visit www.crestnicholson.com/bathriverside 

The marketing suite on Victoria Bridge Road is open daily from 10 am to 5pm.

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