Landlords across England and Wales are risking fines of up £5,000 by failing to prepare for a new law that comes into effect next month.
According to recent research by Just Landlords, only 24% of those surveyed were able to correctly identify the level of fine that could be handed out if their property is newly tenanted and has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below E. Properties without an EPC at all are also at risk of being fined.
The survey also suggested that as many as 80% of people do not know that an EPC can be a clear indication of the environmental impact a property is having. This shows that there is still a misunderstanding as to what an EPC is used for.
Rose Jinks, on behalf of Just Landlords, said: “The lack of awareness around this key legislation is astounding. Landlords and tenants need to know what their EPC rating is, as it could not only help them avoid a fine, but also could save them large sums of money. The fact that our survey found that less than four in ten people in the market are even aware of how improving your EPC could save them money is shocking.”
Delayed Implementation For Existing Tenancies
The new law is due to be introduced by the Government in April and applies to all domestic properties in the private rental sector that have a lease period of between 6 months and 99 years. However, properties with existing tenancies will not need to comply until 1st April 2020, giving some landlords a little more time to come to terms with the new laws.
Additionally, landlords of properties in Scotland can also relax a little as the legislation does not come into force north of the border for another year.
The introduction of the 2018 ‘Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency’ standard law comes as the Government continues to look to improve the energy efficiency of properties across the country.
However, while the new laws may be causing concern for some, it’s worth noting that according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), last year, only 64,092 property EPC ratings were designated a grade below an E.
Still, this figure may rise as more landlords look to get EPCs carried out in order to ensure their properties are not below the minimum performance threshold.