Among landlords and agents, a major topic of discussion is the government's proposed plan to raise the EPC rating of rental properties to C or above. While the final rulings on this matter are still uncertain, it is wise for landlords to plan ahead.

Back in 2018, landlords were required to ensure their rental properties had an EPC rating of E or above. The proposed plan now aims for a rating of 'C' or above by 2025. The proposed bill states:

"The Secretary of State must revise the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/962) to stipulate that, subject to subsection (2):

(a) All new tenancies must have an energy efficiency rating of at least EPC Band C from 31 December 2025, and

(b) All existing tenancies must be at least EPC Band C from 31 December 2028, where practical, cost-effective, and affordable as defined under section 1(4)."

EPC ratings have become an increasingly important consideration for tenants searching for their next home, especially given the current cost of living crisis. Therefore, landlords should plan ahead and take action to improve the EPC rating. Start by reviewing the recommendations in your current EPC report. What rating is possible, and what steps can you take to achieve it?

This is also something to keep in mind when purchasing your next investment property. Is the current EPC rating low? Can it be improved to an EPC rating of C in a cost-effective manner?

While we are still uncertain about the government's final stance when the changes come into effect in 2025, it is likely that a similar approach to the current regulations will be implemented. If you have a property that cannot achieve a rating of E or above, the government provides an exemption allowing you to continue renting it out. Landlords are currently required to complete the feasible improvements to enhance the EPC rating, while adhering to a "cost cap" set by the government.

More information will become available on this in due course, which ourselves as agents will share with our clients to best inform and prepare them. However should you like to have a discussion on your individual property and its needs, please reach out to your local branch or dedicated property manager, and we can put you in contact with a qualified EPC assessor.