It’s time to dust off your EPCs.
Interesting comments by the energy minister Claire Perry, who is suggesting that Stamp Duty could be used to incentivise property sellers to make their properties more energy efficient.
And there could also be fines as well – so you’d be fined for selling a cold, draughty property (i.e a property that isn’t deemed to be energy efficient) but rewarded by a lower rate of stamp duty (for your buyer) if it is energy efficient. Carrot and stick.
So the big question is, will this be in Philip Hammonds Budget in November? (Of course, if you’ve been watching the fall-out with Cabinet divisions over Brexit the bigger question is, will Philip Hammond still be Chancellor in November? But that’s an article for a future newsletter, perhaps).
At the moment using Stamp Duty and fines to influence energy efficiency is all speculation but one thing we do know already is that from April 2018, any properties rented out privately on a new tenancy must have a minimum energy performance rating of E. For existing tenancies this will apply from April 2020. Failure to comply can result in fines of up to £4,000.
So you might want to dust off your EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) and see what the current rating of your properties are. Depending upon when you purchased your property you may have had an EPC supplied by the vendor. If you have subsequently done works to the property which have upgraded it’s energy efficiency, you might want to commission a new EPC (they last 5 years).
If your property doesn’t have an EPC you probably want to get one (they don’t cost a lot – typically £75 depending on where you are based, I’d guess more in London)
If you’re not sure what your energy rating is, or if you’re not sure if your property has an EPC, you can check the EPC register and retrieve a copy of any current EPC – handily it allows you to search by Postcode.