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Rebecca Overton
Written by Rebecca Overton 26th April 2016

Caveat emptor: buyers – and landlords – beware, part 2

In our last blog, we looked at the new stamp duty land tax (SDLT) legislation that came into effect on 1 April, which levies additional tax duties on the purchase of second and buy-to-let properties.

Those new rules apply to any second home, whether or not the buyer intends to let out the property. But landlords have been hit by a second change that, although will bring benefits for tenants – and the environment – could place added burdens on landlords’ shoulders.


Energy efficiency standards

Also brought into play on 1 April, new legislation empowers domestic tenants to ask landlords to make their properties more energy efficient. This is the first in a number of steps the government is making over the coming years towards creating greener homes. The next phase will begin in two years’ time, in April 2018, after which landlords will have ensure that any property they let out is rated E or above1.

Tenants will be able to take action if they think their landlord has unreasonably refused to comply. However, the good news is that landlords won’t have to make improvements if it involves an upfront cost – so it’s important to look into funding schemes aimed at supporting energy efficiency, such as any developments to the Green Deal or an anticipated scheme to replace it.

While there is still plenty of time to implement changes, it is predicted that ministers will move towards a minimum energy rating of D by 2025, and C five years later.

So landlords would be well advised to get their properties assessed and given an energy performance certificate (EPC) as soon as possible, so they know what is likely to be required by the time the next stage of the standards kick in, in April 2018.

Meanwhile, Elmhurst Energy has produced this handy factsheet to help put you in the picture.