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HOP to launch new EPC Consultation Service for Landlords

March 8, 2022 | Landlord News  

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To help Landlords improve their property’s green credentials, HOP is launching a comprehensive EPC Consultation Service.

Having a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has been a requirement since 2008. In 2020, new regulations stipulated that all privately rented properties must achieve an EPC rating of E or above, unless legally exempt.

Leaked reports now suggest that a change to EPC legislation for rental properties is on the horizon.

The proposals – although not yet confirmed – indicate that all new tenancies in private rented properties will need to meet a new minimum rating of a C by April 2025. This will be extended to include all existing tenancies by 2028.

This presents an important challenge in the industry, and we know it is causing some concern amongst Landlords. In response, we have decided to launch a new service, totally free of charge for our managed Landlord clients that will help identify and implement key upgrades to raise their EPC rating.

We are currently training a number of our team to become Fully Qualified EPC Assessors as part of launching a brand-new EPC Consultation Service.

At HOP, we are always looking for new ways to support our Landlords, and we will be working with you to help you through these upcoming challenges.

 

What does this mean for you?

From May, we will be able to carry out certified EPC’s for Landlords in-house. In addition, you’ll also receive a detailed EPC Consultation that will provide you with tailored, strategic recommendations on how best to improve the energy performance of your individual property.

Our EPC Consultation will be completely free of charge to our existing managed Landlords, or £250 +VAT for non-managed Landlords.

Currently EPC’s are valid for 10 years and show automated recommendations, based on generic information an Assessor inputs into a system. The recommendations themselves are often vague and frequently daunting for the Landlord, particularly if an EPC has not been carried out in some time.

Bringing this in-house will allow us to provide a consultation that offers property-specific advice to our Landlords. This service will help Landlords see what changes will have the most impact on their EPC rating, the steps they need to take to make it happen and advice on how to implement them in the most cost-effective way. We’ll also cost, schedule and manage all the necessary works on your behalf.

 

Why is this important?

Leaked reports suggest that changes to EPC legislation for rental properties are on the horizon. The proposals – although not yet confirmed – indicate that all new tenancies in private rented properties will need to meet a new minimum rating of C by April 2026. This will be extended to include all existing tenancies by 2028.

Back in 2020 when the minimum standard was raised to an E, there was a Landlord cost cap of £3,500 on improvements to bring the property up to standard. From what we have heard so far, it does appear that the cost cap will been raised for the new rating, meaning an owner could be liable to pay for improvements up to the value of £10,000.

Despite the proposals not yet being confirmed, it is important that Landlords are taking note and looking to take positive steps to improve their property’s energy performance. Not only for the sake of the environment, but also in preparation for these likely changes in legislation.

 

How will it work?

Once our team are fully qualified, we will be conducting a comprehensive audit of EPC ratings on all of our managed properties. We’ll then be in touch with Landlords directly where we have identified properties with low EPC ratings, or ones that are almost due for renewal.  The process will work as follows:

  • We will conduct the EPC – charged at £90 (inc VAT)
  • Managed Landlords will also receive a free of charge EPC Consultation, which include guidance on what their rating means, identification of required energy improvements, advice on which steps to take first, quoting for any works required through our contractors, and managing works to be carried out.
  • They may wish to renew their EPC after the works are completed, also charged at £90 (inc VAT)

 

What kind of works could improve an EPC rating to a C?

There are many different factors and improvements that can raise a property’s energy efficiency rating, these could include:

  • Room-In-Roof Insulation
  • Internal or External Wall Insulation (on properties with solid walls)
  • Solar Photovoltaic Panels.
  • Energy Saving Light Bulbs

 

Planning Ahead

As part of the consultation process, we will outline specific actions to upgrade the energy performance and then work with our Landlords to schedule and deliver the improvements. This service will help plan for, and implement, gradual changes to improve their EPC ratings over the next four years, ensuring their property is not only more energy efficient but also ready to meet new requirements in a cost effective manner.

For example, we are currently in discussions with solar panel suppliers who can fit panels and spread the cost over 5-10 years. Solar panels not only reduce energy bills, making a property more enticing to Tenants (and in turn increasing rental values), but they also increase the value of their property when it’s time to sell.

If Landlords are made aware early, and improvements made step by step –  it should be an achievable target to help secure your investment.

We are continuously monitoring any information associated with the new rules and we will be in touch with further updates accordingly.

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More about HOP's EPC Service

Should you have any questions or if you would like to speak to a member of the team about scheduling an EPC Assessment and HOP’s EPC Consultation Service, please do get in touch.

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