Should there be minimum energy efficiency standards in rental properties?
Government proposals are currently being debated and if the proposals go ahead it will no doubt cause problems across the North East property market. The essence of the proposal is to highlight low energy efficient properties, which cost tenants fortune to keep warm. However, if these properties are barred from the market until they meet a minimum standard, as the proposals are suggesting, this will surely add to the shortage of housing problem overall.
Should landlords be worried? Well at present these are only proposals, but it has highlighted something we already knew… UK properties are on average some of the oldest in Europe. Consequently with them being built at a time when the words energy efficiency weren’t heard of, the cost of keeping them warm is very expensive. This is the reason the government brought in the need to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when looking to sell a property. The EPC ensures prospective property owners can buy a property knowing roughly how much it will cost to run/keep warm in terms of the current and potential energy efficiency of the property.
However, at Sylvester Properties we’ve also been asked by several landlords to obtain an EPC for their rental properties, so they can identify how they can improve the energy efficiency of their portfolio. Some may say is this a waste of money? or even a concern for a landlord? – well we say it should be, for a number of reasons:
The first is that an energy efficient property with a modern combi-boiler, loft and cavity wall insulation is a far more attractive property to a prospective tenant than the alternative and they would likely pay a higher rental figure for this type of property.
Another benefit is that an energy efficient property is far less likely to have damp problems and the associated repair’s required with this type of issue can cost a landlord thousands to sort out.
Finally, its money well spent! After all, this investment will have a direct impact on the value of the property. We can’t say exactly what impact it will have on the value of each property, but we can tell you that more and more prospective buyers are looking at EPC’s prior to putting in an offer for a property.