Archive for March, 2015

Is your building energy efficient?

Energy Performance Certificates (“EPCs”) have been required on the sale, rental or construction of a building since the introduction of Regulations in 2007 (with some exceptions e.g. places of worship).  EPCs give an energy efficiency rating for a building from A (most efficient) to G.

New, although heralded, Regulations i.e. The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 and The Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property) Order 2015 are to presecribe a minimum level of energy efficiency for privately rented (“PR”) properties.  Pursuant to these Regulations, a landlord will not be able to grant a new tenancy or renew an existing tenancy of a PR property after April 2018 nor continue to let a domestic PR property after 1 April 2020 or a non-domestic PR property after 1 April 2023 where its energy performance falls below the minimum level of energy efficiency rating E unless prescribed exemptions apply (details of these are awaited).

The Regulations will be enforced by the relevant local authority.  It will be empowered to serve first a compliance notice, seeking information from a landlord where the local authority has reason to believe the landlord is in breach of the Regulations, then a penalty notice imposing a fine upon the defaulting landlord.  Appeal is to be to the First-tier Tribunal.

Additionally, landlords of domestic PR property must not unreasonably refuse consent to a tenant’s request for it, the tenant, to make energy efficiency improvements.  A dispute can be referred to the First-tier Tribunal with appeal on a point of law to the Upper Tribunal.

Although these Regulations have been long anticipated, the selected energy efficiency rating was not known for certain and we wait to see what the effect will be upon both the residential and commercial property markets.