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Rural landlords facing chaos on energy efficiency consultations

The residential lettings market in rural areas of the UK could be looking at a long period of turmoil thanks to uncertainty over how landlords are supposed to meet energy efficiency regulations. Government consultation on the minimum required level of efficiency in the private sector is due to close two weeks before the law changes in April 2018. From 1 April, minimum standards, known as MEES, will make it illegal for private landlords to let to tenants if their property is rated at less than E on the energy performance certificate (EPC).

However, with the closure of the consultation before the date of commencement, the Country Landowners Association (CLA), who represent around 40% of rural landlords, believe time has run out to provide the right guidance to rural landlords.

Tim Breitmeyer, the president of the CLA, said:

‘The residential lettings market has been thrown into chaos because the Government has not left sufficient time to consult on necessary changes to the legislation and ensure landlords are given the correct guidance.’

He added: ‘We have repeatedly called on the Government to revise the MEES regulations for the past two years but time is running out. Closing this consultation just two weeks before the rules take effect is really leaving landlords in the lurch.’

This could mean many landlords taking their properties off the rural rental market, which would have a big effect on areas such as Norfolk. Landlords will have to shell out money to make properties suitable for rental which could leave a big hole in the market.

There is currently a proposed cap on the contributions landlords must pay to bring property up to standard, which is £2,500, but money spent before the 1 October 2017 is not to be included. The CLA is arguing that any money spent after the proposals were first launched in 2015 should count towards this cap. Otherwise, it seems that landlords who acted early to try and ready themselves for the implementation of the MEES are being unfairly punished for their efforts.

If you own rental property in rural Norfolk, or are considering investing in the area, it is well worth clarifying what is expected of landlords once the new rules come into force. Otherwise you could face expensive renovation bills to bring property up to code. Here at Agile, we make it our mission to be up to date on current and forthcoming legislation that could affect the property market in Norwich and surrounding area, so if we hear any more news, we’ll keep you posted.

To find out more about the local and national property market, or if you would like to chat about anything to do with property investment, give us a ring on Norwich 01603 567804 or send us a message.