Hundreds of landlords across Yorkshire are just days away from the risk of falling foul of new rules designed to ensure more rental properties go green, a leading letting agent has warned.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) come into force on April 1 – and those who rent out homes to tenants face fines of up to £5,000 per property if they do not comply.
Linley & Simpson, which provides a dedicated lettings service from a network of 11 branches acrossNorth and West Yorkshire, said the crackdown was likely to signal the start of a new series of Government green measures for the sector.
The new standards demand that all rented properties on new lets, including renewals, must have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of E or better.
“This means that no property rated with the lowest bandings of F and G can be let, or have a renewal agreed,” said Linley & Simpson Director, Nick Simpson.
“And from 2020, the crackdown goes even further when all rental properties will need to be rated a more eco-friendly E or above – there will be zero-tolerance.
“We have already taken the proactive step to contact and support all our landlords who may be affected by these changes. There are Green Deal finance plans available to help.
“But there is a real risk that there are many ‘accidental landlords’ out there unaware of their new responsibilities – and that could prove costly if they don’t upgrade. And without this investment, they will find it impossible to let their property legally.
“By now, landlords should have heard from their current agent regarding the changes, but if they haven’t we can share our advice with them. The same goes for any self-managing landlord struggling with the challenge ahead.”
He added: “We welcome any initiative like this that drives up the green credentials of a property and lowers its carbon footprint – and the industry has always responded positively.
“Research shows that in the last few years, the number of properties with EPC ratings F or G has more than halved nationally.
“This ratcheting up of standards will accelerate this progress, with other eco-friendly measures likely to be unveiled for the letting sector soon.”