EPCs and assured shorthold tenancies

From April 2018 it is now a legal requirement for all new private tenancies to be of properties with an EPC rating of E or higher.

Where, after April 2018, privately rented properties have an EPC rating of F or G, they will either have to be removed from the market or have improvements made. The nature of the improvement works required will determine what Landlords will need to do with tenants in occupation at the time the improvement works need to be completed.

Also to note, from April 2018 this change will only apply to new tenancies and renewals granted after April 2018. In April 2020, the rule will be extended to incorporate all private rentals, including those which precede April 2018.

Government guidance for landlords as to the precise nature of the changes and how they will be implemented and enforced is expected shortly. This guidance ought to include details of cost-capping on improvement works Landlords are expected to carry out and confirm whether listed buildings will be exempt from the changes. If not, the cost-capping on improvement works will be important to those Landlords privately renting listed property.

Landlords privately renting property with an EPC rating of F or G should be preparing to undertake or already be undertaking the necessary improvement works to the property to enhance its EPC rating to at least an E.

This is an important change for privately renting Landlords, as since the introduction of the Deregulation Act 2015 it is obligatory for Landlords to provide tenants with an up to date EPC at the commencement of new tenancies. Not providing an EPC to the tenant prior to service of a s21 notice, will mean any s21 notices served in respect of that tenancy will not be valid. The landlord could also be liable for a fine.

For advice on your requirements as a Landlord, please contact our team.