UK buy to let property to keep up with new energy efficiency rules

Sarah Dunsby

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Amidst new regulations set out in April 2018, all properties across England and Wales, including buy to let assets, must make relevant improvements to ensure energy consumption remains at a minimum level.

New tenancy properties must now achieve a minimum level of ‘E’ on the official energy efficient scale, with existing tenancies expected to comply with the changes by 2020. The policy has ambitious plans to get all houses to zero carbon status in 2 years’ time.

After the collapse of the so called green deal in 2015, annual investment in energy efficiency throughout homes halved whilst UK households experienced an 80% decrease in the number of green measures installed between 2012 and 2015.The recent regulations aim to prevent such a demise from occurring again as the government and energy experts realise the gravity of the global ecological situation.

The recent instruction comes at a time of environment crisis as Britain guzzles up millions of non-renewable resources such as coal, oil and natural gas for household power. Heating and electricity can be reduced by the implementation of new energy-saving technologies, which the new directive will eventually see become a standard installation in all new and existing homes. 

If you’re a UK landlord and you manage your own property, you’re responsible for ensuring that your property meets the guidelines in the time period required (which is already up for new tenancies). If you don’t conform, fines of up to £5,000 on every property that isn’t upgraded in time are applicable to private landlords. With many blissfully unaware of such steep financial consequences, it’s important to get the message out there. 

You can double check your property’s energy efficient certificate to see its current rating. A score of ‘F’ or ‘G’ indicates that a change is in need. Funding is even available to help facilitate the required amendments, in a bid to get the new rules rolled out in full as quickly as possible.

Government statistics highlighted in a recent article by The Telegraph indicate that a property with an energy efficient score of ‘G’ will have an average annual energy bill of £2,860. Whereas, you will only be paying £1,710 with the ideal rating of ‘E’. The best energy efficient ratings of ‘A’ and ‘B’ only cost landlords £750 a year in energy bills! This should be the end goal for all properties as we make our way into a greener future.

This is great news for buy to let investors choosing off-plan and newly refurbished properties available through the likes of RWinvest, as all new properties will already be fitted with the latest technologies and appliances. Developers will conform to April’s policy requirements so that investors don’t have to worry about making the changes at a later date.

Low-carbon features include LED light bulbs, thermostatic radiator valves, loft and wall insulation, state-of-the-art boilers and double glazing, with more sophisticated technologies such as underfloor heating and solar panels.

There are many benefits to be reaped from reducing the energy consumption in your buy to let property. Rental returns are usually higher as the property is valued fit for the future. The investment is in keeping with modernism and the new eco-friendly favoured life, enabling much greater yields and capital appreciation on homes and apartments.

In addition, younger tenants are growing up in an environmentally conscious world and will consequently opt for energy saving accommodation that offers lower monthly bills. Properties that offer these features will be in a greater demand by residents so that landlords can rest assured their accommodation will always be tenanted. 

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