It’s been a year since minimum energy efficiency standards were extended to existing domestic tenancies, as well as new tenancies, on 1 April 2020. These minimum energy efficiency standards mean that you cannot rent out a property below a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating; this is currently set at E, which means that F and G rated properties cannot be rented out.
If you are a private tenant or landlord please check your EPC to make sure that it meets the minimum energy efficiency standard of E rating. You just need your postcode to search the database and the EPC will also give recommendations of measures you can install to improve the rating, which will make the house warmer and energy bills cheaper. It may be that the property is exempt, in which case you can check that here.
Minimum energy efficiency standards will apply to existing non-domestic tenancies from April 2023.
Government has been consulting on updates to the domestic minimum energy efficiency standards to reflect their fuel poverty target and ambition to improve private rented homes to EPC rating C by 2030. Their proposals are to phase in these standards for new tenancies from 2025 and existing tenancies from 2028, to increase the cost cap from £3,500 to £10,000 and introduce a ‘fabric first’ approach prioritising insulation improvements.
In addition, government are currently reviewing the Housing Health and Safety Rating System used by local authorities to assess hazards in residential properties and then enforce the most serious hazards, including excess cold. They aim to overhaul the system from guidance and training to minimum standards and engagement with landlords, property-related professionals and tenants.
From this April 2021 electrical safety regulations for private rented properties, that came in last July 2020 for new tenancies, now apply to existing tenancies. These regulations require landlords to have electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested, at least every 5 years, by a qualified and competent person. Landlords must then provide a copy of the electrical safety report to any existing tenants, to new tenants before they move in, and to prospective tenants who request a copy. Any required electrical safety work identified in the report must be completed within a maximum of 28 days or sooner if specified.
If you need advice on saving energy at home and reducing your bills or your rights and responsibilities around energy issues, please call us on 0800 804 8601, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or read our tenant advice page.