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Private 'hobby' landlords cautioned on new EPC regulations
By: AgentPro Estate Agent Software
The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018. This will be extended to all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020.
It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption, and a civil penalty of up to £4,000 will be imposed for breaches, however most agencies are already prepared.
Gareth John, Managing Director of Estate and letting agent software provider, AgentPro, says the company already have provisions within their software to manage EPC certificates and believes most letting agents are already taking action to make sure their landlords comply:
"EPCs are not new. They were introduced in England and Wales on 1 August 2007 as part of Home Information Packs (HIPs) for domestic properties with four or more bedrooms. Over time this requirement was extended to smaller properties, and our software has already been managing documents like EPC certificates for years, making it easy for prospective tenants or buyers to view them. The only change is that properties with a poor EPC will now have to be improved or taken off the rentals market.
"Most estate and letting agents have been prepared for the new rules for some time, and will have already advised property owners where changes need to be made. However, private landlords are less aware that their properties will now have to conform and are particularly vulnerable.
"The rentals market is becoming increasingly difficult for private landlords to navigate, with formal registration and training now being mandatory in Wales and Scotland, stricter energy performance rules, strict rules surrounding gas and electrical safety and requirements to keep the tenant's deposit in a Government approved scheme. Landlords who fail to meet these requirements face harsher punishments than ever before and 'hobby' landlords who have casually rented an inherited property for years may not be aware of all the new rules they are required to comply with.
"Our advice to private landlords who have rented out a property for some time is to speak to an experienced letting agent before re-letting, to check your property is compliant. There is of course a fee for using a lettings professional, but in the long term, protecting your credibility, reputation and your rental income is worth the fee."
AgentPro ((http://www.agentpro.co.uk) is one of the UK's leading software packages for Estate and Letting Agents. Gareth John, Managing Director, has spent much of his career advising and working with clients in the property industry.