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March, 2018
New EPC rules come into effect on 1st April and most landlords appear to be unaware

Just 4% of landlords and tenants are fully aware of looming legislation on energy efficiency on buy-to-let properties with just days until the changes are introduced.

Fines of up to £4,000 can be issued from April 1 if landlords are found to be renting out new lets with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below E.

The rules will apply to all rental properties from 2020.

But research from landlord insurer Just Landlords found that only 24% of landlords were able to identify the correct fine that could be administered if a property is found to have an EPC rating below E.

Of the tenants polled, 78% said they would not like the property they own or rent to have its EPC rating improved, but 80% did not know that an EPC could be a clear indication of the environmental impact a property is having.

Rose Jinks, of Just Landlords, said: “The lack of awareness around this key legislation is astounding. Landlords and tenants need to know what their EPC rating is, as it could not only help them avoid a fine, but also could save them large sums of money.

“The fact that our survey found that less than four in ten people in the market are even aware of how improving your EPC could save them money is shocking.”

David Cox, chief executive at ARLA Propertymark, said landlords have been responding.

He said: “Landlords have been responding to tenants’ demands for better quality and better insulated homes over the last few years. The number of properties which are EPC rated F or G have fallen from around 700,000 in 2012 to 300,000 today. However, there are still a lot which don’t meet the standards.

“After the deadline passes at the end of this month, landlords face fines of up to £4,000 for flouting the law, or losing money on empty properties which can’t be let until they meet the standards.

“This will also have implications on the wider rental market, which is in the midst of a serious supply crisis.”

Emma Newell, Lettings Director at First Union said: “We have ensured that our lanlords are aware of the changes and that all new lets after 1st April will comply with the new requirements.”