Government scraps proposed changes to EPC regulations
If you are a landlord, you should know that the government’s proposed changes to the existing EPC regulations have been scrapped indefinitely to help tackle the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.
The initial position
Currently, privately rented properties are required to have a minimum EPC rating of E or above. This means that landlords have been obliged to invest in their properties to ensure that they comply with the rules and meet the minimum level of efficiency required by the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES). These rules apply to new tenancies from April 2018 and existing tenancies from April 2020, and non-compliance could lead to a hefty fine for offending landlords. This position also means that landlords might have suffered the brunt of this regime by being forced to spend up to £3,500 out of their own pocket (the spending cap per property) to make their properties compliant.
More recently, the government has made proposals to make the regulations tighter which, ultimately, would have come as a further disadvantage to landlords. The proposals sought to raise the minimum efficiency rating required by the rules from E to C, and the spending cap per property from £3,500 to £10,000. These changes were set to apply from April 2025 for new tenancies and April 2028 for existing tenancies. However, in an attempt to help ease the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis on landlords, the government recently axed these proposals indefinitely during a press conference in September 2023.
What does this mean for landlords?
For landlords, this means that there will be no additional pressure for at least the next 2 years to invest further expense into their rental properties to bring them in line with the rules. Properties with E or D EPC ratings will not require any further improvement works, meaning that landlords will not be subject to further financial outlay for the time being. At present, no new deadlines have been announced and the proposals have been put on hold indefinitely. When, or if the proposals will be resumed, is currently unknown.