19 March 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Only 4 per cent of landlords and tenants surveyed are aware of new legislation that requires them to know their property's energy efficiency rating.
The research from landlord insurance specialist Just Landlords also stated that fewer than three in 10 Brits know their property's energy efficiency rating and only 5 per cent had taken any steps to measure their energy-efficiency rating.
The survey showed that only 24 per cent were able to identify the correct fine of up to £4,000 that could be administered if a property is found to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below E.
The severity for failing to achieve an E grade will dramatically change by the start of April, but not having a valid EPC could also result in a fine of £200.
But 78 per cent of those asked said they would not like the property they own or rent to have its EPC rating improved and 80 per cent did not know that an EPC could be a clear indication of the environmental impact a property is having. This shows "a staggering lack of understanding of EPCs and the impact they can have on a property", say the researchers.
According to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS[i]), last year, 64,092 property EPC ratings were designated a grade below an E.
When asked what changes they could make to ensure that their property improved its EPC, only just over half (52 per cent) knew that improving the insulation could have a large impact.
Rose Jinks, a spokeswoman for Just Landlords, said: "The lack of awareness around this key legislation is astounding. Landlords and tenants need to know what their EPC rating is, as it could not only help them avoid a fine, but also could save them large sums of money. The fact that our survey found that less than four in 10 people in the market are even aware of how improving your EPC could save them money is shocking."
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 mean that, from April 2018, private non-domestic (and domestic) landlords must ensure that properties they rent out in England and Wales reach at least an EPC rating of E before granting a tenancy to new or existing tenants.