Energy Efficiency Advice for Landlords

                           Jo Tinson

Written by Jo Tinson, a Partner at Spire Solicitors LLP Watton office.

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy has offered guidance to domestic Landlords to comply with the 2018 minimum level of energy efficiency.

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 created a minimum level of certificate Band E for privately rented properties in England and Wales. This was then amended by the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 to postpone the dates on which the exemption register will be open to Landlords.

From April of 2018 Landlords in the private sector must ensure their property achieves the minimum standard before creating a tenancy in favour of new or existing tenant. The requirements will apply to all private rented properties in England and Wales from 1 April 2020 for domestic properties and from 1 April 2023 for non-domestic properties.

The requirement to meet the minimum level of energy efficiency does not apply to a Landlord who has made all the relevant energy efficiency improvements to the property that can be made (or in the alternative, none can be made) and the property continues to be sub-standard.

The published guidance therefore offers the following:

  1. Information to assist a Landlord in identifying the improvements which can be made to a band F or G domestic property. Improvements can be identified by an Energy Performance Certificate, a Green Deal advice report or a report prepared by a surveyor. Any of these options would set out one or more measures which could be carried out at the property.
  2. Advice on the range of funding options to make the relevant improvements. The funding for the above could be through a Green Deal Plan, an Energy Company Obligation or similar scheme or alternatively funded by central or local governments or a third party funder at no cost to the Landlord.

A Landlord of an F or G rated property is under an obligation to install all energy efficiency improvements required to get the Property to minimum banding E, this is where funding is available to cover the cost. Where funding is not available to fully cover the cost, the Landlord would not be required to make the improvement. They would however need to take steps to register the exemption on the national PRC Exemptions Register.