18 Aug 2022

Improving the EPC of Your Property Investment

Improving the EPC of Your Property Investment

The current energy crisis is one which is affecting pretty much everyone and according to some experts, it could extend well into 2024

Prices are constantly rising and there are calls for more significant interventions from the UK Government if we are to avoid a winter where people will need to make decisions on whether they heat or eat.

The Private Rented Sector is one area that is experiencing a substantial impact and whether you are a landlord or tenant the next few months are likely to be a very challenging period.

Landlords can support their tenants by providing energy-saving advice but also installing energy-efficient home upgrades, and the summer period is undoubtedly a good time to carry out any improvements.

All rental properties in Scotland must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which provides a property with an energy efficiency rating from A (the most efficient) to G (least efficient) – landlords need to have a new EPC every 10 years and all tenants must be provided with a copy when they move in.

Having a good EPC rating can mean lower energy bills for tenants, of course, this can also make a property more attractive, as well as being more affordable and comfortable for tenants.

In Scotland upcoming regulations state that all new tenancies in the private rented sector must have an EPC rating of at least D and also state that all private rented properties need to have an EPC band of C or higher by 2025, where this is technically feasible and cost-effective.

These regulations may seem onerous but they are there for a good reason and are part of the drive by the UK and Scottish Governments to make homes more energy efficient and help reach net zero by 2050.

So, as a landlord, what can you do?

Firstly, it would be useful to obtain an updated EPC rating which will then provide information to explore any work which needs to be done.

The next step could be to look at which home energy grants you may be entitled to – ultimately this could save a considerable sum.

The most suitable and effective ways to save energy will depend on the property itself. Still, options including insulation, such as solid wall, cavity wall or loft insulation, should be high on the priority list.

In addition, heating systems such as an energy-efficient boiler should be considered as well as draught proofing gaps and installing double glazed windows or energy-efficient doors – you could also look at renewable energy systems including solar panels.

Jade Shepperdson, Lettings Manager for Aberdein Considine in Aberdeen says that it’s never too late to start making improvements, but any work needs to start sooner rather than later.

She said: “Making energy efficient improvements to a property has a double benefit of improving your own property and its future sale value as a landlord but also ensuring that your tenants have an energy efficient home to live in.

There’s no doubt that any work can involve a fair bit of investment but the results can become evident very quickly.

The regulatory environment for landlords can be complex and the penalties for not getting it right can be very costly. At Aberdein Considine we have 40 years of experience in working with landlords and tenants so if you’re unsure about any aspect it’s always best to seek some professional advice.”

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