1 in 11 rental properties in the Horncastle area may be illegal in 2018

Article Simon Jory 2017-11-27
1 in 11 rental properties in the Horncastle area may be illegal in 2018

As the winter months draw in and the temperature starts to drop, keeping one's home warm is vital. Yet, with energy prices rising quicker than a Saturn V rocket and gas, oil and electricity taking on average 4.4% of a typical Brit's pay packet (and for those with the lowest 10% of incomes, that rises to an eye watering 9.7%), whether you are a tenant or homeowner, keeping your fuel costs as low as possible is vital for the household budget and the environment as a whole.

For the last 10 years, every private rental property must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). A property is given an energy rating, very similar to those on washing machines and fridges with a rainbow coloured graph, of between ‘A’ and ‘G' (‘A’ being the most efficient and 'G' the worst). New legislation comes in to force next Spring for English and Welsh private landlords making it illegal to let a property that does not meet a certain energy rating. After the 1st of April next year, for any new tenant moving into a private rented property, or an existing tenant renewing their tenancy, the property must have an energy performance rating of 'E' or above. After this date, if a landlord lets a property with an 'F' and 'G' rating Trading Standards could fine the landlord up to £4,000. The new law also will apply for all prevailing tenancies in the Spring of 2020.

Many landlords may be totally unaware that their rental properties could fall below these new legal minimum requirements for energy efficiency benchmarks. Whilst some households may require substantial works to get their property above an ‘F’ or 'G' rating, my experience is most properties may only need some minor work to lift them from illegal to legal. By planning ahead and acting now, it will mitigate the need to find tradespeople in the Spring when every other Horncastle landlord will be panicking and paying over the top for work to comply.

Whilst there is money and effort involved in upgrading the energy efficiency of rental property, a property that is energy efficient will have a greater appeal to tenants and to other buy-to-let landlords/investors. This will enable you to obtain higher rents and a higher sale price when you come to sell your investment.

So, how many properties are there in the area that are 'F' and 'G' rated? Well quite a few in fact. Looking at the whole of the East Lindsey District Council area, of the 10,554 privately rented properties, there are:

730 rental properties in the 'F' banding
229 rental properties in the 'G' banding

Percentage of private propertyin the East Lindsey District Council area that is legal/illegal

That means just over 1 in 11 rental properties in the Horncastle and surrounding area has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of 'F' or 'G'. From April next year it will be illegal to rent out those homes with a new tenancy.

Talking with the Energy Assessors that carry out our EPC's, they tell me most of a building's heat is lost through draughty windows/doors or poor insulation in the roof and walls. So why not look at your EPC and see what the assessor suggested to improve the efficiency of your property? We can find the EPC of every rental property in Horncastle, so irrespective of whether you are a client of ours or not, don't hesitate to contact me if you need some guidance on finding out the EPC rating or if you need a trustworthy contractor that can help you out?


  1. Register of All EPC's can be found here
  2. EPC Numbers obtained from Department For Communities and Local Government

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Simon Jory

Simon Jory

Simon has been in Estate Agency for over 32 years and is a Fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents. Having working in all kinds of changing market conditions he is well placed to advise on how best to sell your home.

Anne Pearce

Anne Pearce

Anne prides herself on working to the highest standards and believes everyone should receive the best possible customer service. With over 20 years' experience she will not miss and opportunity.


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