EPC obligations as from April 2020 - now is the time to get started!

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    EPC obligations as from April 2020 - now is the time to get started!

    My researches are that an EPC will be required for all lettings, not just those at present, and that includes the old dears and their successors remaining under the Rent Act 1977, assured, assured periodic and all the other oddities of tenure that will be likely to exist in an older mature portfolio. If your tenant declines an offer of a modern boiler/double glazing/ loft insulation/ modern LED bulbs get him/her to do so in writing which will entitle the landlord to obtain up to five years exemption, as I understand it. But we are starting on the list already because those older properties will typically be the most challenging, plenty of solid walls and stoic tenants of the old school. It is my experience that there is a degree of resistence to requests for access for such energy improvements. One lady would not have central heating and likes her ancient and long since discontinued Raeburn (even though parts are ever more difficult for us to find). The EPC assessor was prepared to do some surveying without recording the result on the EPC register until we had followed sufficient of the recommendations to arrive at a score with which we were satisfied and made us a very fair deal for a two visit test with the second one scored and registered. I would recommend finding an assessor with whom a rapport can be built so that, as with, in the old days a friendly MOT inspector you car would not be failed if one 12v bulb had blown and easily replaced at the end of the test.

    #2
    Hi, What does anybody know of the obligations on landlords beyond April 2020, with regards to improving the EPC rating to a D then a C in rental properties. Has anything been laid down in law. Is there a timetable for such?

    Regards

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      #3
      EPC C by 2030 according to ARLA article quoted on this website.

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        #4
        I have a question - I sadly feel I will know the answer!

        Is there any off setting from a tax perspective if you now improve the property - say you weren't a landlord during the years that the government offered the tax relief to get EPC up to scratch ? Can you class this as ' repairs'? What about Solar panels - ???

        Any advice welcome.

        Thanks

        Ash

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          #5
          single to double glazing yes because there's no other alternative these days so HMRC guidance says that's allowable. But solar panels no because that's an improvement (if you don't currently have any) and they'll be a capital expense you offset against CGT when you sell.

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            #6
            I attended an NEA meeting the other day where they were talking about pushing for the date to be brought forward to 2025 for the EPC 'C' rating to come into effect.

            A few points: first you can apply for an exemption at the moment if you have spent £3,000 on upgrading the property. This usually means that you have replaced a gas boiler with a modern one. This figure will rise of course!!! The NEA are demanding it be raised to £3,500 as a minimum for 2020, then presumably it will rise again, probably exponentially!

            EPCs consist of a complex calculation but in essence are: the thermal barrier (walls, loft or roof, floors, doors and windows), heating appliances: (gasoil/biomass boilers, electric: heatpumps, electric coil, IR panels, night storage etc) and then the (green stuff as I call it) energy smart meters, energy supply, (solar/themal PV, wind turbines, donkey wheels etc, etc).

            To increase the EPC rating think 'Fabric First' so draughts, walls, windows and doors, loft insulation underfloor insulation. The next is the heating source and then the 'green stuff'. Without the 'green stuff' you will unlikely be able to get to an EPC 'B' rating. Draught exclusion and loft insulation is fairly inexpensive (dependent on property type) but can reduce bills enormously. It does not take very long and so disruption to the tenant is pretty minimal. All of the other works take time but note that some internal wall installers (eg Matilda's Planet) fabricate offsite and so installation takes less than a day in most properties.

            The main thing to remember is that you need proof of upgrading works as the EPC assessment is 'non-invasionary' meaning they cannot dig into stuff so photos should do the trick to prove the work has been done.

            Potential problems: any upgrading works to older properties carry risk to the structure of the building eg any External Wall Insulation can lead to eg a greater fire risk or cold-bridging meaning damp problems, rotting of timbers etc. The tenants behaviour may have to change as a better thermally efficient house needs more ventilation and also the contractors you engage may be 'experts' but actually clueless.

            The key at this stage I reckon is to start to educate the tenant that the rules will be changing to save the planet etc and we shall all have to do our bit. Good luck!!

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              #7
              Simon, you wouldn't perchance be a 'green deal' surveyor trying to build up your posts so you can spam us with emails, would you?

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                #8
                JKO, definitely not! I just have a bee in my bonnet about this kind of thing at the moment. Owning older houses is a problem because of all these rules and regulations which take no account of the practicalities of changed building regulations and different ways of construction.

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