???By 2016 your tenants can demand energy efficiency improvements to your properties.

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  • #16
    Landlords may apply for a Green Deal during void periods, as the electricity bill will be in their name at that point. So even if you have a tenant unwilling to play ball (I don't know why as the ides is that their bills get cheaper) you should get opportunities to act between now and 2018. ECO subsidy will support the installation of solid wall insulation, so, theartfullodger, you should have no problem getting your properties up to the desired standard (as long as not in conservation area or listed building?). I would suggest that you should act on this as soon as possible, as the early adopters to the Green Deal scheme will get juicy cash backs.

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    • #17
      theartfullodger Post #5,

      Since 2008 an EPC has been required for all properties but there has been no minimum standard, since this means quality is not an issue there has been a race to the bottom in terms of cost.

      The EPC assessment software is designed so that if accurate details of boiler efficiency and wall build-ups etc can't be obtained the assessor can tick a box to use a standard value, so as not to give credit where it is not due this standard value is the worst feasibly possible. Unfortunately this means that to save time (and cost!) an assessor can tick the box for "a standard boiler" or a "standard wall" etc. This will generate an EPC (all that has been required for several years), but it really only gives a "this building is no worse than x rating" rather than a true rating.

      The problem described above is compounded by the fact that no previous experience in construction or qualifications are required to become an EPC assessor. Cheaper, less qualified and generally less experienced assessors will rely on the standard tickbox values heavily and so churn out artificially low ratings.

      Another thing to consider is that an EPC is valid for 10 years... but the criteria which EPCs are calculated against moves forward with Part L building regulations which are revised every 3-4 years. If you have your property assessed now (pre April and the new building regs) you will get a higher rating than if you have the assessment after, leave it until the last minute and you will get a far lower rating and loose out on several years of breathing space.

      Minimum requirements for domestic EPCs are 2016, non-domestic EPCs 2018. I am not a lawyer but my understanding is that the Act has been passed (minimum EPC no later than these dates), but the specific regulation has not yet been writen (what the minimum will be, exactly when, what will be the penalties etc).

      The only loop hole apparent (at least until the regulation is penned) is to agree a very long lease or maybe rely on a rolling arrangement so no new lease is required?... it is only new leases which require an EPC. Keep in mind your lender may demand you meet the minimum EPC anyway to preserve asset value...

      There will probably be a mechanism that protects the rights of tenants to stay but stops the collection of rent or at least takes a chunk of that money until the standard is met.

      For an idea of price you should pay for an EPC consider how long it would take for a tradesman to measure, inspect and research your property. For a 2-3 bed property, about an hour? Input the data, an hour? There is agovernment lodgement fee of about £15 I think? Add travel time and expenses.... £50 is clearly not enough for an accurate assessment.

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