Savvy tenants will look beyond a rental property’s pictures down to the EPC graph, as they know that this is what’s really going to count in the middle of winter when the utility bills come through.
Taking steps to improve your EPC will not only help attract these energy-conscious tenants, but also ensure that your property is compliant with Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), due to come into effect in next year for new rentals.
This means you have until 1st April 2018 to make sure your property is at least rated E before any new tenancies begin. If you have long-standing tenants who will be occupying your property beyond then, the rules apply from 1st April 2020.
As 49% of landlords surveyed by E.ON were unsure of how to improve their rating, here are a couple of places to start:
Properties built after 1920 are likely to have cavity walls, which can be filled with insulation. That said, solid walls of older properties aren’t excluded from the option to insulate, as insulation can be installed on the external or internal walls.
Double glazing is an expensive option, but is incredibly effective at reducing not only heat loss, but also condensation and noise. These factors combined will make your property more appealing to future tenants. If this is still beyond your budget, secondary glazing is a good alternative option, as it can significantly improve efficiency while saving original windows.
Providing any energy generated is being used to heat the property, renewable energy could be considered to improve EPC. Solar panels are increasingly becoming a more conventional feature on homes as we see the benefits of harnessing natural energy.
Thinking long term
While draught excluders and thick curtains may go some way to making life more comfortable for your tenants, it won’t affect your property’s EPC. If your property is dwindling below an E rating then changes to the fabric of the building, such as those listed above, will be necessary if you’re to let your property out in the future. These alterations needn’t be too drastic – it could just be a case of remedying the source of a severe draft, such as an old letterbox.
Remember, if you’re making any significant changes to your property to let your insurance provider know to ensure you’re still covered.