Massive EPC Changes that will affect all Landlords and Tenants this April - By Nick Holt, Director of Holt Commercial


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January is often the time for articles on market forecasts for the year ahead or identifying what the trends are going to be for the forthcoming 12 months.
Much of the debate will be around inflation, interest rates, cost of living crisis and the also international pressures but that means there is little focus on an issue that is going to affect thousands of landlords and tenants of commercial properties not just in the next few months but in the years ahead too.
From April of this year, it is going to be a legal requirement for all rented properties to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of E or above.  It’s a laudable aim as the country – supported by business – looks to achieve its net zero ambitions.
This won’t just apply to new agreements, it will be on existing leases too and I wonder how many landlords and tenants are aware of this and if they are prepared for the changes?
We have been pointing this out to clients and, it’s fair to say, that some are not ready for the new rules. It’s debatable if the Government are ready either and it’s unclear how quickly it will be enforced and to what degree.
But I wouldn’t let that stop you from getting ready if you are either the landlord or the tenant and the best course of action is to seek advice as soon as possible.  It is much wiser to act now.
An issue we are seeing is the way EPC ratings are now being worked out and the detrimental effect having a gas boiler can have on the rating of a property.  Not too long ago, this wouldn’t have been no problem but now there is a real push to move to electricity or a more sustainable form of heating.
Installing LED lighting was once seen as a great way to bring the rating down and, while this is still advisable from a cost point of view, it doesn’t have too much bearing on the EPC anymore.
As I said above, the changes come into effect in April and, then, by 2027 a C rating will be required followed by a B rating by 2030.
The key for landlords and tenants is to not bury their heads in the sand and make sure they seek advice as soon as possible.
If you are unsure, get in touch with us here at Holt Commercial and, while we don’t undertake EPC ratings, we can advise on what to do next.
As one colleague put it recently, don’t be an April fool when it comes to your EPC!

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