18 months for landlords to reach eco-friendly target

Wed 05 Oct 2016

Landlords have just 18 months before their properties must meet a strict environmental target, making eco-friendly home improvements a must for many.

The Green Deal - which is no longer funded by the government, but is available through a number of private companies - has already helped thousands of property owners to enhance the energy efficiency of their buildings.

A government ruling states that, from April 2018, tenanted properties must achieve at least an E rating in their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If they do not, landlords will be unable to grant a new tenancy to new or existing tenants.

It means there are now just 18 months left for those landlords who still wish to invest in a new boiler, add insulation to a building, draught-proof a home or carry out any other eco-friendly work using a Green Deal loan prior to the deadline.

Allison Thompson, managing director at property specialist Leaders, says: “Despite the withdrawal of government funding in 2015, the Green Deal continues to give landlords across the UK a chance to bring their properties up to speed with the latest eco-friendly requirements on favourable terms.

“Repayments on Green Deal loans are typically no more than the savings made on energy bills as a result of the improvements, so it makes great sense for people to utilise the scheme.

“With winter just around the corner, this is the perfect time for landlords to think about whether they could be doing more in terms of energy efficiency. And if they invest in a programme of improvements, the rewards of doing so should be immediately apparent at this time of year.”

Many older properties - such as those dating back to the Edwardian and Victorian eras - currently achieve only F and G ratings, making green improvements a must if they are to meet the new criteria.

Allison adds: “With the imminent requirement that all tenanted properties must reach at least an E EPC rating, there is now an even greater incentive to improve the energy performance of properties to ensure they can continue to be let and achieve a great rental return in the long run.

“Once green improvements have been made to a property, it is likely to become significantly more attractive to tenants, who will benefit from lower gas and electricity bills as a result. This will ensure a home remains in high demand and tenants could choose to stay longer.

“We would therefore advise landlords to consider the energy efficiency of their property as it stands and to carry out any improvements well in advance of the new regulations coming into effect.”

Leaders can support landlords in making green home improvements and is ready to recommend qualified, experienced and trusted contractors to carry out the relevant work.

For more information or advice on environmental legislation relating to letting a property, contact your local Leaders branch today.