Landlords Could Be Illegally Letting Energy Inefficient Properties
There could be tens of thousands of landlords who are unwittingly renting out a property illegally because they do not have an energy performance certificate of at least an 'E', one technology firm reports.
According to the report published by Spec, many of these landlords may simply not know that they now need an energy performance certificate (EPC) of at least an E rating before renting out a new tenancy - unless the property has an exemption.
The firm says that up to 2.5 million EPCs may be wrong because of inaccurate practices and measurement standards which is putting landlords at risk of breaking the law inadvertently.
Spec says that the property's size may be recorded inaccurately and it could vary by more than 10% from the actual energy measurements being recorded in around 25% of all EPCs.
The report claims that the techniques used by domestic energy assessors could see property area discrepancies of around 8.6% or 87 sq ft.
Unlawful for a landlord to offer a new tenancy
However, under new minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for England and Wales, a landlord offering a new tenancy will be breaking the law if that property has an EPC of below E. The law changed in April last year.
Since then, owners of homes in the F and G energy bands need to upgrade them before a new tenancy can be agreed - though all rental homes will need to meet the new standards from next year.
Spec says that around 35,000 properties in the residential lettings market are rated as E or below and do not meet the legal standards.
The firm's senior adviser, Anthony Browne, said: "Our study shows that inaccurate EPCs present a serious challenge not only to consumers, property professionals and estate agents but also to the environment.
"Tens of thousands of landlords may unwittingly be renting out of property that opens the risk of fines, through no fault of their own."
Best cities for renting out a room revealed
Meanwhile, the best cities for those buy to let landlords who opt to rent out a property on a room-by-room basis has been revealed.
According to bill-splitting service Glide, landlords who prefer to rent this way can bank a higher monthly income while tenants get to enjoy a reduced monthly rent because they share with others.
The top 10 of house sharing hotspots has been put together based on rent costs, amenities, job opportunities and affordability. The number one city is Bristol, followed by Nottingham and then Birmingham.
Manchester, Liverpool and Derby take up the next places, followed by Southampton, Brighton, Leicester and Portsmouth is in 10th spot.
The best location for the variety of house sharing opportunities is London, while Bradford is the most affordable city to rent a room.