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Agony Agent

11th November 2017

Q:  My agent has told me that my property isn’t letting because my EPC rating is too low.  Would this really be an issue?

A:  Before I answer that, I would like to start off with a question of my own, why have you not given your property to us to let for you?

Heating and energy bills are always likely to be an area of interest to tenants, as in the current economy every penny helps.  If your rating is E or below this may be a factor, but should not affect the marketing, overall, of the property; even when the bills will increase in homes across the UK during the winter.  Many landlords / investors won’t be affected by this.  If you are a D or above this does not stand out too much on the marketing information, however, if you are affected it might be worth making a few little changes before you have an EPC carried out, or another one carried out.  Changes like secondary/double glazing, insulating cavity walls or even changing all the bulbs to A rated LEDs instead of the filament bulbs can all help.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) has listed five main reasons why it believes energy efficiency is an important consideration for anyone letting their investment out.  Firstly, the overall value of the property can be greatly increased if it is given some care and attention over time.  Energy efficiency improvements can help to reduce the risk of damp, condensation and mould growth, and this little bit of extra effort can have many positive implications and reduced levels of work for you in the future.  Not only will the improvements be demonstrated whenever you choose to sell, but its value will be maximised as a well-maintained property will be more attractive to potential buyers.

There is more good news as the government provides money for those with a rental agreement to make these improvements.  Covering cavity wall and loft insulation, dry-lining for solid walls, draught proofing and hot water installation, the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance enables landlords to potentially claim back up to £1,500 per dwelling.  Another benefit to be gained from considering energy efficiency is the happiness of the tenants, something that shouldn’t be overlooked when you have an empty property and are looking for new tenants.

It is a legal requirement for landlords to provide an energy performance certificate (EPC) for any rental agreement drawn up after October 1st 2008; and the energy rating must be published when marketing the property.  This must be produced by an accredited energy assessor and shows the current rating, as well as any improvements which could be made.

I would not say that the EER (energy efficiency rating) would be the major problem, however, having a high rating would benefit everyone all round.  Please feel free to get in touch, if you would like us to help find a tenant for you.

Richard Bond

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