The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (‘the Regulations’) fulfil a duty placed on the Secretary of State in the Energy Act 2011 to introduce regulations to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the domestic sector in England and Wales. The Regulations came into effect on 1st April 2018 for new tenancies and 1st April 2020 for existing tenancies.
The Regulations apply to assured tenancies (including assured shorthold tenancies) defined in the Housing Act 1988, Regulated tenancies defined in the Rent Act 1977 and domestic agricultural tenancies as set out under the Regulations.
Where a landlord lets a new tenancy for a privately rented property to new or existing tenants on or after 1st April 2018 which is F or G rated the landlord must make relevant energy efficiency improvements to the property to bring the property up to at least an E rating before the property can be let. If a landlord qualifies for an exemption and he has registered the exemption on the Public Exemptions Register then the regulations will not apply. The landlord is only required to carry out the improvements where they can be funded at no cost to the landlord.
Since 1st April 2019 The Energy Efficieny (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2019 no longer restrict energy efficiency improvements to those that can be carried out at no cost to the landlord. The 2019 regulations introduce a ‘cost cap’ of up to £3500 and where energy efficiency improvements can be carried out under this amount either by the landlord wholly or partly financing the improvements they must do so. Where the cost of purchasing and installing a recommended energy efficiency measure to improve the property would cause a landlord to exceed the £3500 cost cap the landlord can register an exemption but three quotations from different installers must be uploaded on the exemptions register and landlords should install all measures which can be installed up to the £3500 before registering in the exemption.
Detailed ‘Guidance for landlords on the minimum level of energy efficiency required to let domestic property under the Regulations’ is available from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The guidance set outs the requirements for landlords and any exemptions that may apply. Where the landlord is in breach of the regulations financial penalties may be imposed by the local authority up to a maximum of £5,000 per property and per breach. The Guidance states that ‘this means if after having been previously fined up to £5,000 for having failed to satisfy the requirements of the regulations, a landlord proceeds to unlawfully let a substandard property on a new tenancy; the local enforcement authority may again levy financial penalties up to £5,000 in relation to that new tenancy.’
See Letting Factsheet 38 for more information on Energy Performance Certificates and Energy Efficiency Regulations.