Mandy St John Davey, one of the UK’s best known female property investors, is warning UK landlords they need to act now to stay on the right side of the law when it comes to energy efficiency in their properties.
She also believes new rules mean rents could rise across the country as landlords fail to absorb the financial impact of multiple changes in rules and legislation over the last year.
“With constant changes to the private rental sector and the uncertainty of the impact of the April 2017 tax regime and current legislation, it is likely landlords will have to increase rents.
“Many are already challenged or frustrated by the impact of these changes will consider leaving the market altogether. This will create an even bigger housing shortage.”
On the tenth anniversary of the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), she’s warning landlords nationwide that the rules change next year which could mean renting out their properties is illegal from April next year.
A decade ago, on August 1 2007 EPCs were introduced to demonstrate the energy efficiency of a property. The report was originally part of the unsuccessful HIP packs which were then required before you could sell your property.
Although the HIPS failed the EPC remained in place and today it’s a necessary certificate whenever you buy, sell or rent a property. The life of an EPC is ten years and so August 1 marked the expiry date of many of those first certificates.
For landlords, it’s a legal requirement to provide a tenant with an EPC when they take out a tenancy. Failure to do so leaves a landlord unable to serve a Section 21 notice should he or she ever need to vacate tenants.
“There are even more changes on the horizon. As of April 2018 all private rental homes must have a minimum Energy Performance Rating of E or it will be illegal to rent out property. Any homes rated F or G must be improved or will not be able to be rented out legally, with landlords potentially facing a £5,000 fine.”
Mandy is warning fellow landlords and property owners to check their ratings and take action. According to figures from a recent Residential Landlords Association survey spending on energy efficiency improvements has averaged £6,780.
“The rules applies to new tenancies and renewals, however, it will be extended to existing tenancies by April 2020,” said Mandy.
Mandy, who bought her first property aged 18, now has a multimillion pound portfolio in Wales and abroad and is an advocate of best practice in the sector. She’s a member of the South Wales branch of the UK Women In Property, a mentor with the Princes Trust as well being a professional mentor with start-up property developers and business owners. For further information visit www.mandystjohndavey.com