Landlords – EPCs and other property considerations

At Warners Financial Services we have decades of experience with helping landlords with their Buy to Let mortgage requirements, from those purchasing their first property to rent out, to experienced landlords with property portfolios, including Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

There are many aspects for landlords and prospective landlords to consider in respect of the property itself, the most recent of which is the proposed legislation in respect of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), the requirements for which we will discuss in this blog, along with some other property considerations for landlords.

Who is a landlord?

A landlord is anyone who rents out a property, such as residential dwelling, room to let or rental holiday accommodation that is subject to lease or license agreement. You may be classified as a short-term landlord, long term landlord or a lettings and management agent depending on the length and type of rental you are providing.

Landlord responsibilities (England & Wales)

As a landlord you must:

  • Keep your rented properties safe and free from health hazards
  • Make sure all gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained
  • Provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
  • Protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme
  • Check your tenant has the right to rent your property if it’s in England
  • Give your tenant a copy of the How to rent checklist when they start renting from you

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

EPC requirements for domestic properties in England and Wales are changing, its important you are prepared, or you risk a £30,000 fine for non-compliance.

When is it happening?

New tenancy agreements must meet the new regulations from 2025 and all existing properties have until 2028 to comply with the regulations. EPCs are currently valid for 10 years. 

What’s happening?

The Government has proposed that rented properties in England & Wales will be required to have an EPC rating of band C or above. Currently, domestic rental properties in England and Wales have to be rated E or above.

Improving a property’s Energy Performance Certificate to a rating of at least C can involve work such as:

  • Upgrading the heating system
  • Installing solar panels
  • Insulating the loft
  • Installing low energy bulbs
  • Insulating walls, including solid walls

This work can involve significant cost, but the good news is that grants for landlords are sometimes available and it is also often possible to raise the funds required to improve the property. 

At Warners Financial Services we not only have the expertise to discuss your buy to let mortgage and property improvement finance requirements, but we can also put our clients in contact with a local EPC specialist who can undertake an EPC on your residential or buy to let property and.

Our local EPC specialist can also advise on any grants which may be available to assist with work on your property to improve its EPC rating. We would also be very happy to discuss means of raising finance to complete such property improvement work.

To book an appointment to discuss your Buy to Let requirements please click here.

Other considerations for domestic property landlord:

1. Gas safety checks

To ensure your tenants’ safety, all gas appliances and flues need to undergo an annual gas safety check – which should always be carried out by a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer. Once this has been done, you’ll be given a Landlord Gas Safety Record (LGSR) with details of all the checks that were carried out.

You can find a registered Gas Safe Engineer using the Gas Safe register.

2. Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR)

Since 1 June 2020 regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at an interval of at least every 5 years. Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and to their local authority if requested.

3. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

From 1 October 2015 private sector landlords are required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties.

A carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (for example a coal fire, wood burning stove) is also a legal requirement.

As gas appliances can emit carbon monoxide, it is expected that reputable landlords will ensure that working carbon monoxide alarms are also installed in rooms with these appliances in.

The landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

4. Protecting your property

You will need buildings insurance for your buy to let property(ies) which should be for a sum sufficient to cover the full rebuilding cost of your property.

Landlord contents insurance is also available to protect landlord owned items, such as white goods in the property.

To book an appointment to discuss your Buy to Let requirements please click here.

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