The soon-to-be implemented tighter EPC regulations for rental properties will not be the headache that many letting agents and landlords have been worried about.
That’s the claim made by rental property energy specialist Spark Energy, which says that although the new minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES) will see up to a fifth of properties face sanctions unless they meet at least an EPC rating of E or above, landlords and agents need not worry.
It says that despite the £4,000 fines faced by landlords and agents if they rent out properties with and EPC rating below E, it’s also an opportunity to upgrade properties without having to pay substantial sums.
Many properties can be brought up to the minimum standard before the rules kick in on 1st April with the financial help of local authority grants, the company says, but knowing how and where to get the funding can be tricky, as the funding deals can be time limited and localised.
But there are national schemes too. For example, some rental properties are eligible for funding via the government’s ECO: Help to Heat scheme, which offers two ways to apply for funding.
To help navigate the red tape, Spark Energy has partnered with independent energy and property services outsourcing company Vibrant to offer landlords and agents a way to meet MEES for properties.
The partnership can survey a property, suggest the work needed and also suggest where and how to gain grants to fund the work or – if a landlord is reluctant to proceed – explore if the required works are exempt.
These include if the works will reduce the value of the property by 5% or more, if a landlord or agent cannot gain consent for works from the tenant, and if funding is not available via a government or local authority grant.
“Vibrant is a company that has strategic partnerships with some of the most reputable names in the industry,” says Ian Crowther, Commercial Director at Spark Energy (pictured, left).
“It is a safe pair of hands that will help those in the sector navigate through the MEES transition.”
Read the full government briefing paper on MEES.