EPC changes for landlords scrapped in shock announcement

In a shock announcement last year (2023), former prime minister Rishi Sunak scrapped the proposed EPC changes for landlords. 

The statement came as part of a wider change in the UK’s approach to meeting its 2050 net zero emissions target. The EPC changes are intended to give landlords more time to improve the energy efficiency of their rented properties. 

This blog takes a detailed look at the EPC changes and asks, what are the requirements for landlords now?

New EPC regulations 2025 scrapped

An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) provides information about a property’s energy efficiency. It includes a rating from A to G that reflects how much energy it takes to keep a property warm.

Previously, landlords were told they had until 2025 to improve their properties’ energy rating. The now-defunct plans stipulated that new tenancy agreements could only be negotiated on rented properties with an energy rating of C or above. 

Existing tenancies would not have been affected until 2028.

But last year, former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak publicly ditched these deadlines in favour of a more “pragmatic approach” to climate change – a move welcomed by already stretched landlords. 

A new deadline has yet to be announced, but some existing requirements remain in place for rented properties. 

Minimum EPC requirements for renting  

Landlords still need to meet minimum EPC requirements. Rented properties must achieve a minimum threshold for energy efficiency, which is set out in the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES). 

When did EPC become law for lettings? 

Rental properties have long been subject to EPC requirements, but the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were officially introduced in 2018. 

The rules state that rented properties should have a rating of at least E. This is the minimum EPC for renting. Landlords renting out a property with a rating below this (i.e. F or G) must have an exemption certificate or risk breaking the law.  

This rule applies to existing tenancies and new ones

Has a new EPC deadline been set?  

A new deadline has yet to be set for improving the energy efficiency of rental properties in the UK. Still, this issue will likely return with successive governments as we approach the 2050 deadline for achieving net zero. 

It makes sense to start improving your property now. An energy-efficient home is cheaper to run and more attractive to potential tenants. 

How long does an EPC last for renting? 

An EPC lasts ten years regardless of how many times a property is bought, sold, or let.

An assessment includes recommendations broken down by priority. Start by tackling the top tier of proposals first.

This might include: 

  • Improving the property’s insulation  
  • Installing a new boiler  
  • Replacing single-glazed windows with double or triple-glazing  
  • Switching to low-energy light bulbs
  • Adding solar panels  

These improvements won’t be included in your energy certificate or reflected in its rating until the property is reassessed. You can find an EPC assessor on the government’s website.  

How much is an EPC?  

The cost of an EPC certificate is less than £100, but making any necessary improvements is likely to be much more. 

The size and age of your house will determine the cost of improving your EPC rating. Some experts estimate that meeting the requirements for a C rating would cost around £4,700. It’s likely to be much more than this for older and larger homes.  

The government has put a ‘cost cap’ in place to limit the financial burden on landlords and homeowners. You will never be required to spend more than £3,500 (inc VAT) on improving your energy efficiency.

If your property is still rated below E (the minimum for rented properties) after you’ve spent £3,500 on improvements, you can apply for an exemption from the government. This is known as an ‘all improvements made’ exemption. 

You can read more on this and other PRS exemptions on the government website

EPC changes for landlords – FAQs 

Find the answers to your frequently asked questions about the EPC changes here. 

When did EPC become law for lettings? 

Energy performance certificates (EPC) for privately rented properties stretch back to 2008. A decade later, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were officially introduced.   

How long is an EPC valid for? 

An energy performance certificate (EPC) lasts ten years regardless of how many times the property is bought and sold. Any improvements you make during that time won’t be reflected in the certificate until the property is re-assessed.  

Do I need a new EPC if I change my boiler?

Yes, you may need a new energy performance certificate (EPC) if you change your boiler. The EPC reflects your property’s energy efficiency, and upgrading to a more efficient boiler can improve your property’s rating. Having an updated EPC can be beneficial, especially if you’re negotiating a new tenancy. 

Is EPC compulsory for landlords? 

It is a legal requirement to have an EPC for a rented property. If you fail to provide a copy of the certificate to your tenant or don’t have a valid EPC, you risk being fined by your local authority. 

When is an EPC not required? 

Privately rented properties must meet a minimum energy efficiency standard unless exempt. If the cost of making improvements to reach the threshold exceeds a certain value, you can apply for an EPC exemption from the government. 

Find the full list of exemptions here. 

Have EPC rules been scrapped for 2025?

In September 2023, the government announced it was scrapping the deadline for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their rental properties.  

Under the now-defunct plans, privately rented properties would have needed an EPC rating of C to remain eligible for tenancy. 

What are the new EPC rules for landlords? 

A new target has yet to be set for improving the energy efficiency of rental properties in the UK, but some requirements still exist. Under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, privately rented properties must achieve a rating of E or above to remain eligible for tenancy. 

If you found this post on EPC changes for landlords useful, you might also enjoy reading this piece on the government’s change to the gas boiler ban.  

Post author

Charlie Roughton

Date of post

January 8, 2024


Table of content

Recent blogs

Alternative to gas boilers: what are your options? 

Alternative to gas boilers: what are your options? 

You might be exploring gas boiler alternatives because you live off the grid without access to mains gas, or you may be interested in finding an eco-friendly heating solution. Perhaps you fall into both camps. In this post, we look at alternatives in both scenarios. ...

What temperature should my boiler be? 

What temperature should my boiler be? 

A little-known way to save money on your heating bills is to turn down the flow temperature on your boiler. This sounds intriguing but proceed with caution. In some cases, lowering the temperature of your boiler can cause you a headache, not least because the water...

Need some help?

Call our team today

01622 749 700

We’re now offering up to 3 years’ interest-free credit on new boiler installations

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping