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Landlords urged to make rentals energy efficient or face penalties

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Kelvin McCarthyKelvin McCarthyA tenant vetting service is warning landlords to prepare their properties for new energy regulations coming into force next year.

Swindon-based Tenant Screening is urging landlords to ensure their rentals meet new minimum energy efficiency standards before starting or renewing tenancy agreements after April 1 2018.

In a move to improve poorly insulated and energy inefficient housing in the UK, legislation introduced in the Energy Act 2011 will require all landlords to ensure their properties have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of band E or higher. It will be illegal to let out homes that score the lowest ratings of F or G. The law also applies to commercial lets.

The Government has estimated that one in ten properties - around 400,000 - in the private rental sector, housing up to a million tenants, could be affected.

However, as landlords have already been obliged to meet ‘reasonable requests’ from tenants to improve energy efficiency since April 2016, some improvements should already have been made.

Kelvin McCarthy, manager of Tenant Screening – which provides a vetting service to landlords and letting agents across the country – said landlords should take action to ensure their properties meet the new standards.

“There are exemptions, but the onus is on the landlord to notify the PRS Exemptions Register if they believe this applies to their property. Non-compliance with the Act can lead to a civil penalty of up to £5,000,” he said.

“There are all sorts of measures landlords can take, like cavity and loft insulation, use of smart metres, and energy efficient lighting.”