Buy to let investors in England and Wales are once again being urged to improve energy standards in their E and F rated properties or risk being banned from the sector.
New legislation set to be introduced in April 2018 will prohibit landlords from letting properties with low energy ratings. There are now just nine months left before the rule comes into action as part of a bid to lower carbon emissions in the UK.
Recent research from E.ON revealed that nearly two-thirds of buy to let landlords lack awareness of the new Minimum Energy Efficient Standards (MEES) that come into effect next year. This makes them vulnerable to facing bans when the changes come into practice.
Figures from the EU have shown that UK homes are some of the most expensive to heat in Europe. This is largely due to poor maintenance and insulation.
Managing Director of Armistead Property, Peter Armistead, said: ‘This legislation will have a significant impact on landlords with older, draughty properties. It is estimated that around one million tenants are paying as much as £1,000 a year more for heating than the average annual bill of £1,265. These excessive costs are mainly down to poorly insulated homes. In some cases, landlords will only have to make small tweaks, while others may require more substantial work. The main improvements include solid or cavity wall insulation; loft insulation heating; draught-proofing; double glazing; and renewable energy generation, such as solar panels or heat pumps.
‘Buy to let mortgage providers will also require borrowers to comply with the regulations and valuers are likely to amend their criteria in the run up to 2018, making BTL mortgage applications more difficult. As a matter of urgency, agents and landlords that are currently renting out F and G rated properties should be reviewing the improvements that can be made and seeking help that is available through the Government’s Green Deal.’