Let's dive in below and find out how an EPC rating effects landlords & tenants in Northern Ireland, and the differences in comparison the the rest of the UK.
We will compare the local regs to the rest of the UK, and offer tips and best practices you can use now for future proofing your existing rental portfolio.
If you're thinking about acquiring property in N Ireland, buy-to-lets. Then this article is pure gold dust for you! Northern Ireland currently has no Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, this is great news for existing landlords and potential investors.
Making any property instantly rentable regardless of EPC rating.
In 2015 "The Energy Regulations" for England & Wales, became law, followed by Scotland shortly after, making the rules much stricter for both residential & commercial let properties.
Although phased in through stages:
From April 2018, landlords are required to ensure that any renewals of existing leases and new leases for non-domestic properties and domestic have an EPC rating of at least E.
Phase 2: From April 1st 2023, landlords must ensure all properties that were let before the introduction of regulations in 2015 have a rating of at least E.
The UK Government are currently consulting on how to take this minumium grade to at least C in England, Scotland & Wales by 2028/30.
Legal Exemptions: Buildings that have listed protection, or buildings that are temporary structures with a shelf life of no longer than 2 years are exempt from MEES anywhere in the UK & Northern Ireland.
Although Northern Ireland does not fall under current MESS regulations, it is only a matter of time before rules and regulations from the mainland UK get extended to the North of Ireland.
Having no MESS regs makes us the least energy efficient part of the UK, even in comparison to the Republic of Ireland and the Building Energy Rating scheme. Which is the EPC equivalent.
We do have an executive order to reduce green house gases by 35%, before the end of 2025. Although with local assembly in Stormont not sitting this is unlikely achievable!
What does this mean for the smart investor with foresight, who treads the investing waters with due diligence?
Catchup will happen FAST at some point, all at once in N Ireland. We can't be allowed to continue being the worst offender in energy efficiency.
If you have existing properties and wish to keep them in the rental space, for the medium to longterm.
Start bringing any properties up to standard slowly now, although currently you legally don't need to. Aiming for at least a grade C will completely protect your rental nest eggs for years to come.
It is only a matter of time before any new regulations come into play. This will give you peace of mind, saving on immediate costly upgrades needing undertaken.
Sell any properites now that may be to costly for improvements, and use the money to reinvest in properties that already have the grade C rating or can be brought up to standard cheaply.
With todays cost of living crisis, tenants will be more savy when looking for somewhere to call home.
Having a good EPC rating has many knock on effects, when it comes to finding tenants and keeping them longterm.
Even though rental properties have no minium grades in N Ireland to adhere, an EPC rating must be supplied when any property is listed for rent.
Let's discover the benefits below of a good EPC Score!
A higher EPC reduces overheads, when compared to other simular properties for running costs, less tenant turnover and more likely to rent longterm. This will also improve your rental yields.
A well heated house will last longer than a cold damp one.
Makes the house more appealing for renting and buying.
Better green credentials, using less energy than you would need to otherwise.
Yes, you heard correct. Lenders now look at the EPC of a property and can offer better borrowing rates.
The EPC lasts for 10 years, regardless of how many times the property has been rented or sold.
Yes, fines of £500 for not making a copy of the EPC available to any tenant, up to £5000 for not having an in date EPC.
If you live in Northern Ireland contact us, EPC Belfast. One of the team will be delighted to conduct a survey, and offer guidance if needed on how to make any improvements.
You can view more EPC FAQ'S and answers here.