Ticking timebomb for BTL landlords over energy efficiency laws
By Simon Thompson
Landlords with buy to let properties in the UK are facing a 'ticking timebomb' as they struggle to bring properties up to the legal minimum energy efficiency standard.
A legal firm is warning that landlords need to begin complying with new standards on energy efficiency for their properties rather than face a drop in property value or rental income.
The warning is being made by Maples Teesdale who say that landlords are risking financial penalties and being prevented from having tenants in the properties if they do not meet the new minimum energy efficiency is - known as MEES.
Minimum energy efficiency will be law in 2018
The new standards are being enforced from April 2018 and all rental properties in the UK must meet a minimum heating standard. There are some exemptions but the vast majority of rental properties will need to have their energy efficiency improved.
To compound matters, from April next year, tenants will be able to request that their landlord carries out energy efficiency improvements - a request that landlords cannot reasonably refuse.
A partner in Maples Teesdale, Neil Sagoo, said: “The regulations will have an impact on the private rental sector and landlords are faced with an ultimatum to bring their properties up to scratch for energy efficiency or risk losing rental income.”
Reasonable tenant demands cannot be refused
He added that landlords can no longer ignore tenant demands to improve their properties and in future the new rules will be as fundamental to rental homes as building and fire safety regulations are today.
Mr Sagoo added that BTL landlords ignoring the new deadline will be doing so 'at their peril'.
He says that those landlords failing to improve their properties face severe financial penalties – that will probably be linked to the rental income of the property concerned.
In addition to being fined, tribunals will be able to force landlords to carry out the necessary energy efficiencies.
The new regulations look set to be in place by the time of the general election in May and will be implemented to cover all new lettings from 2018 and all current lettings from 2023.
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