If you’re a buy-to-let landlord with existing tenancies on properties in the private rental sector you’ll need to prepare for the next EPC deadline. By April 2020 all rental properties will need an Energy Performance Certificate rating of E.

In April 2018, the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came into effect, and requires all landlords to ensure their rental properties on new lets or renewing tenancies reach at least an EPC rating of E. Whereas existing tenancies are allowed to run until 1st April 2020 before the property is upgraded.

This is to encourage landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties by restricting them from being let if they have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of F and G. If landlords do not adhere to the new legislation they can face fines of up to £5000 per each property that doesn’t comply with the new rules.

To give landlords more guidance and to take action on improving their energy efficiency, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy issued a guidance document on compliance with the 2018 ‘Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency’ standard, in accordance with the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.

The document gives advice on how to make home improvements to raise the properties EPC rating. It also explains how a landlord can identify where a property can make appropriate improvements and how to make them cost-effective.

The document also outlines the minimum standards and funding set out by government grants to help landlords achieve these improvements. Grants include the ECO, the Green Deal, and Pay As You Save Finance schemes.

There are some exemptions and exclusions that may apply to individual landlords, which are outlined by this document. This may come in handy for those looking for clarification, and to learn what steps are necessary to register on the National PRS Exemption register.

It also goes into detail about what landlords can expect from the enforcement of the MEES framework, including the issuing of fines, other penalties, and appeals.

So what next?

The first step is to obtain an EPC through a registered domestic energy assessor to conduct a review of your property. If your property is lower than a rating of E, we recommend that you follow our guide on how to improve your rental property’s EPC rating.

At the ECO Providers, we provide 100% free loft insulation, room in roof insulation, wall insulation, and oil boiler grants through the Energy Companies Obligation government scheme. Get in touch with us today to see if you’re eligible for any of these grants and start improving your EPC rating to make sure you’re prepared for the April 2020 deadline.