Landlords are being reminded that by next month they will have to ensure their properties meet minimum energy efficiency guidelines.
From the start of April, new tenancies arranged in England and Wales will have to be supported by a certificate showing the property has a minimum EPC rating of E.
The government hopes the rules will see tenants paying lower energy bills, as well as generally improving the quality of residential rental properties on offer.
Some properties are exempt from the initiative, including listed buildings, and those classed as “hard to treat” because of structural issues.
However, the government believes landlords will not have to spend more than £2,500 to ensure their properties achieve the minimum rating, with some homes qualifying for grants for certain improvements, such as cavity wall insulation.
Figures show the average annual energy bills for a property in band G are £2,860, compared to £1,710 for a property classed in band E - resulting in significant savings for tenants if improvements are made.
David Cox, chief executive of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), believes the majority of landlords have already made improvements to their portfolios, but there may be some who are unaware of the new standards.
He added: “After the deadline passes at the end of this month, landlords face fines of up to £4,000 for flouting the law or losing money on empty properties which can’t be let until they meet the standards.”
ARLA is advising landlords to find out more about Green Deal finance plans or seek advice from Propertymark’s industry supplier ECO-Energi to find out what changes need to be made.