The law places certain expectations on landlords with regards to energy efficiency, supply and upkeep. Navigating the minefield that is a landlord’s responsibility to their tenants can be tricky to say the least, especially with the different rules for commercial and residential properties.
There are three major things that landlords need to do to ensure the property is appropriate for tenancy: keep the property safe and free from health hazards, make sure all gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property.
What is an EPC?
An EPC is quite simply a legally required document that gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A to G, with A being best performing. The certificate is valid for 10 years and you will need to get one before renting a property.
As of April 2018, is became a legal requirement that you have an EPC of at least E or above on your property before you can lease it. Any long-term lease must be at E by April 2023.
Although this does put lots of pressure on landlords to invest both time and money into improving their properties, it is also an opportunity to install a more cost effective (and green) energy solution.
Consider an air source heat pump that converts energy from outside air into heat. It can save a tenant up to £360 in utility bills every year AND make your property more energy efficient. If you find yourself searching for air source heat pump installers, be sure to check out Thrift Energy for a reliable service at a reasonable price.
What about gas and electricity checks?
By law, annual gas safety checks must be carried out on all privately rented homes in the UK. This is to ensure that air is flowing properly through flues, chimney’s and vents. The tenant must then be provided with the certificate at the start of tenancy and every 12 months thereafter. Be sure to contractually oblige entry to the property for such purposes with your tenant.
In terms of electricity, all privately rented homes require electrical safety checks as of April 2021. This means getting a qualified electrician to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report every five years. The only exception to this are lodgers and tenancies that have a lease of seven year or more.
Failure to comply with either of these safety checks could result in you being reported to the Health and Safety executive and in danger of prosecution.
Hopefully the above information will make navigating the obligations of being a landlord just a little bit easier. Once you know your stuff, being a landlord is such a rewarding experience, but be sure to comply with every regulation set out! It’s all too easy to slip up and find yourself facing fines or even court dates.