New EPC rules set to bite Bath's less energy efficient rental market
With a year to go until new rules come into force on letting properties with poor Energy Performance Ratings (EPCs), property owners and landlords in Bath are being advised to make appropriate improvements or risk not being allowed to let out their property.
The new EPC Regulations come into force on 1 April 2018 and will effectively force landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of properties currently rated F and G to a minimum of E.
Unless they do this, by law, they will then be banned from renting out their properties to tenants.
With the city of Bath being dominated by classic Georgian architecture where high ceilings and large bay-fronted rooms are common, it could see landlords being saddled with hefty energy efficiency improvement bills or worse still void properties.
Marcus Evans, Sales and Marketing Executive 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.
Marcus 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, it seems awareness amongst occupiers remains relatively low, but with just one year to go and the potential impact of the legislation recognised, we imagine this will start to rise.
“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.”
To avoid these issues, those looking to invest in property in Bath are being advised to consider much more energy efficient new build properties and in particular those for sale at Bath Riverside. Current availability includes a two-bedroom apartment on the Alexandra phase, an attractive place to live for would-be tenants and ideal investment opportunity.
Marcus 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 something a bit newer. With the new legislation coming into force the most obvious one is the fact that the EPC rating in a new property will be well above level E.”
Peter Greatorex from The Apartment Company is warning landlords that they could incur a £4,000 fine if their properties are found to have an EPC of F or G.
He said: “Unless there is an applicable exemption, it will be against the law for landlords to breach this new requirement. Listed properties are exempt for now but with almost 10 per cent of England and Wales’ privately rented homes falling below the E rating there is a lot of work to be done.”
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.