Rural landlords in Shropshire could face fines if found in breach of new energy efficiency regulations for privately rented properties put in to force this month, a lawyer has warned.
Fiona Sedgley, from FBC Manby Bowdler Agricultural and Rural Services team, said complying with the new laws, which came into force on April 1, could be particularly challenging for those renting out rural properties that often have lower energy efficiency ratings.
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Sector) (England & Wales) Regulations 2015 introduced new minimum energy efficiency standards for all privately rented properties on April 1.
All properties under new tenancies or renewals now have to have a minimum energy efficiency rating of B and E. Existing tenancies will have until April 2020 to comply. Properties with a rating of below Band E (Band F or G) will be classed as “sub-standard”.
Fiona said “Landlords looking to protect the value of their assets, either to sell or to raise finance against them, should take action to achieve the highest energy efficiency rating for their rental properties as possible and to comply with the new rules.
“Although the changes were announced in 2015, some landlords have still not made the requisite changes. For those renting rural properties, which often naturally have a lower energy efficiency rating than Band E, due to location and style and age of build, it could involve significant work to meet the standard.”
Fiona stated those landlords, including those who rent listed homes, should carry out an urgent review of their properties, if they have not already done so.
“Landlords should consider the steps which can be taken to increase the efficiency of their properties to B and E or above, investigate whether funding is available to make the improvements recommended to increase energy efficiency and, if it is, make use of that funding to make changes.
“If the work that is required to increase a home’s energy efficiency rating can’t be completed without cost to the landlord, they can apply to be registered on the Private Rented Sector register (PRS Register) as exempt. There’s a common misconception that these new rules don’t apply to listed buildings but they do.”
Landlords who breach the new regulations could face a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence.
For more information about energy standards and efficiency ratings, please contact Fiona on 01743 266271 or firstname.lastname@example.org