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The regulations phase in two obligations for landlords.
Tenant's energy efficiency - improvements From 1 April 2016 a tenant will be allowed to reasonably ask for a relevant energy efficiency improvement. Since 2019, landlords are now required to fund up to £3500 (inc VAT) for energy efficiency improvements to ensure that their property meets the minimum requirements of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of 'E' or above.
This removes the previous no cost to landlord's provision, even where they cannot obtain third party funding (local authority grants or Green Deal finance or other). However, a spending cap of £3500 is placed on the Landlord liability for these energy efficient improvements. (This £3500 includes vat and any third party funding obtained). This means the Landlord is not duty bound to spend more than £3500 on improvements. However, where third party funding is available to fully cover the costs of improvements no spending cap applies. A request must be in writing and may be given by post.
When a landlord receives a request, a landlord will only be able to refuse consent on limited grounds. But, because a request is only "relevant" if it is of no cost to the landlord this shouldn't be too much of an issue.
A landlord will need to provide an "initial response" within one month of service of the tenant's request and there are provisions available where consent is required from a superior landlord. It is possible for a landlord to also serve a "counter proposal" which specifies an alternative (or multiple alternatives).A landlord will still be able to fund improvements if they like.
There will be a few exemptions from having to carry out improvements such as if the works would reduce the market value of the property by more than 5% or consent from a third party has been refused.The landlord of a sub-standard property (energy rating below "E") must not: (a) grant a new tenancy of the property after 1st April 2018, or (b) continue to let the property after 1st April 2023 (non-domestic rental).The duty is also triggered by any periodic tenancy arising on or after 1 April 2023 after expiry of any fixed term because the duty is not only triggered by a renewal but also "an extension".
There are a number of proposed exemptions for the minimum standard where-• the property is unable to be brought up to the standard• the tenant refuses consent• the landlord is unable to obtain consent from a third party• works required to bring the property up to the "E" level would devalue the property by more than 5% of market value.
The amendment introduces Regulation 13 that clarifies that where a landlord registers an exemption because the current tenant of the property does not consent to an improvement, that exemption will only remain valid for as long as that tenant remains the tenant.
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