11 July 2014

New laws surrounding Energy Performance Certificates in the rental sector are less than four weeks away, and landlords are tackling improvements to their properties head-on.

Research by Paragon Mortgages revealed that the majority of landlords had made improvements to a residential investment property since purchase to help improve its energy efficiency.

Over half of landlords surveyed had installed a new boiler, while 62 per cent had installed double-glazing. Meanwhile, a third had laid insulation to prevent heat escaping from the roof - one of the most effective measures in improving a property's energy performance.

From October 1 2008, landlords marketing a rental property in England and Wales are legally required to provide tenants with an EPC. Failure to comply would result in a £200 fine and the landlord being unable to market the property until they obtain the certificate.

Despite the high number of landlords installing energy efficient measures, only 12 per cent of those surveyed were aware of the Landlord Energy Savings Allowance. This allows landlords to offset the cost of installing energy saving measures, including loft, cavity wall and floor insulation, against income tax, up to a value of £1,500.

Paul Sailes from HIP-Consultant.co.uk said "The improvements that Landlords can make through the energy saving allowance will, in most cases, have a direct positive impact on the energy efficiency rating and reduction of carbon emissions reflected within the Energy Performance Certificate. Of course, the energy saving measures would need to be put in place prior to the assessment taking place for this to be evidenced on the EPC."

As the EPC legislation is implemented it is anticipated a greater awareness of the Landlord Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) will gained providing further incentives for Landlords to make energy efficient improvements to their properties.

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