Sales: 01704 550 048  |  Rentals: 01704 54 34 34  |  Property Mgt: 01704 545 800

 

MINIMUM ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS

IMPORTANT NOTE 

The ending of State aid for the Green Deal means that changes need to be made to the Regulations imposing minimum energy efficiency standards in the PRS. The Government has now indicated what these changes could be and they are noted in the appropriate sections below. We would, however, stress that no final decision has been made and the Regulations themselves have not yet been amended. 

Research has also identified that energy performance certificates (EPCs) understate the thermal efficiency of solid walls. Many PRS properties have solid walls. Usually they were built pre-1918 but can be later. Again, the Government are proposing to recalibrate EPCs to give a truer reading. This could mean that some solid wall properties currently rated F under an EPC will no longer require any work and less work may be required in the case of a G rated property. The Government has yet to bring forward the relevant regulations to implement these changes. Landlords of F and G rated solid wall properties are therefore strongly advised to await developments. Should changes be made then a new EPC will be required. Existing EPCs cannot be adjusted. Once EPCs are recalibrated, in these cases, obtaining a new EPC may mean that you no longer need to comply with the Regulations or less work may be required. 

Overview 

As from the 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption. A civil penalty of up to £4,000 will be imposed for breaches. This guidance summarizes the regulations. There are separate regulations effective from 1st April 2016 under which a tenant can apply for consent to carry out energy efficiency improvements in privately rented properties. 

For most landlords this will mean that they will no longer be able to rent out a property with a rating of F or G after April 1st 2018. As such landlords with properties in this EPC bracket should begin preparing now for April 1st. However, there are several nuances and exceptions.

When energy efficiency improvements are compulsory 

Where at any time on or after 1st April 2018 a landlord lets a privately rented property which is F or G rated on a current legally required EPC then energy efficiency improvements must be carried out to bring the property up to at least an E rating before the property is rented out, unless the landlord qualifies for an exemption and the exemption is registered on the Public Exemptions Register. 

There several ways in which you will be classed as letting a property for these purposes: 

  • You grant a new assured tenancy, including a shorthold 
  • You renew or extend an existing assured tenancy, including a shorthold, by agreement with the tenant. This can be done when you grant a fresh tenancy to the same tenant or simply agree with the tenant that the existing tenancy will be extended 
  • A statutory periodic tenancy comes into existence following the ending of a fixed term assured tenancy (shorthold or non-shorthold). At that point the law imposes a new tenancy on the parties where the tenant stays after the fixed term has run out. This is treated as a new letting for these purposes 
  • A new assured tenancy by succession comes into existence when a family member takes over a Rent Act protected tenancy 
  • A new tenancy is granted to a Rent Act protected tenant of the same or a different property owned by the same landlord 
  • An agricultural occupancy or similar tenancy is granted, renewed or extended 

For full information regarding the scope, property types, tenancy types, exclusions, exemptions, potential improvements required and penalties, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive a free copy of our full guide.

If you are unsure of your properties current rating you can look it up on the central register at: https://www.epcregister.com

For more guidance visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-private-rented-property-minimum-standard-landlord-guidance-documents

Update to Regulations: April 2018 vs April 2023

Changes to the Energy Act 2011 provide for powers to ensure that from April 2018, it will be unlawful to rent out business premises that do not reach a minimum energy efficiency standard. Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) rate how energy efficient your building is; using grades ‘A’ to ‘G’ (with ‘A’ being the most efficient). The regulations will require landlords of non-domestic buildings to have secured an EPC certificate with an E rating or higher in order to issue a new lease for a property. This will come into force on 1st April 2018. The additional requirement to secure an EPC certificate for properties with existing leases will come into force from 1st April 2023. 

 

The Scope:

These regulations apply to all non-domestic private rented sector properties England and Wales. A minimum standard of E Rating on EPC is  required with any new lease to a new or existing tenant.

From 1st April 2023 all privately rented properties within the scope of the regulations must have a minimum EPC Rating of E.

 

Restrictions on Improvements

Properties may be eligible for exemptions if:

  • Improvements are not cost effective a 7 year payback
  • Unable to gain consent for works from tenant, lender or superior landlord
  • Expert states that measure will reduce the property value by 5% or more
  • Wall insulation will damage the property

Enforcement and Penalties

The regulations will be enforced by local authorities and any exceptions must be recorded in their register. Penalties for non-compliance can include a penalty of £150,000 for renting out a non-compliant property for more than 3 months, so it is vital you take immediate steps to improve your properties rating now if it falls below an E.

If you are unsure of your properties current rating you can look it up on the central register at: https://www.epcregister.com

For more guidance visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-private-rented-property-minimum-standard-landlord-guidance-documents

Following the success of our first ever event in 2018, Anthony James decided to make the Big Summer Bash an annual event to raise vital funds and awareness for our charity partner, Community Link Foundation.

CLF is a local charity that helps people in our community. Find out more at: https://www.facebook.com/CommunityLinkFoundation/

This years Live Entertainment featured Matt Fearon, DJ Alistair Cunningham, DJ Paul Ennis and Headline act Decoy. In addition to live music there was childrens entertainment, a buffet, fundraising raffle and prosecco reception.

The event was a sell-out success, and most important a grand total of £1771.71 was raised for Community Link Foundation, vital funds that will go directly to those in need in our community.

A big thank you to everyone that attended, donated, provided raffle prizes and took part, we can't wait for next year!

As of June 1st the widely publicised tenant fees ban came into effect, but whilst popular with tenants who have over the years been forced to pay in some cases extortionate fees, the move has left some agents and Landlords in the lurch. Fortunately, Anthony James have long practised a fair approach to lettings with minimum fees for both Landlords and Tenants and so now, even with the introduction of the fees ban and many agents having to recover income from increased Landlords fees, we are able to instead transfer some savings to our Landlords too.

We have put together a summary of what the Tenant Fees Ban means for Landlords in general, and how it affects our Landlords at Anthony James.

The Tenant Fees Ban

From 1 June 2019, agents and Landlords will not be able to charge Tenants for setting up a tenancy, for a renewal of a tenancy, or for checking out.

However, if the tenancy was entered into before 1 June 2019 and it was agreed in that contract to pay certain renewal fees, then a Landlord or agent can charge these fees for a renewed fixed-term agreement or statutory periodic agreement up until 31 May 2020. For tenancies entered into before 1 June 2019, the Landlord/agent can also charge for checking out, up until 31 May 2020.

What this means for agents.

It is well known that many letting agencies have generated profit from their tenancy fees, with spiraling costs leading to the introduction of the ban. Many agents have now been forced to recover these funds elsewhere, so you may find your fees as a Landlord have increased to cover the costs of the tenancy for the agent.

 

The Anthony James Approach

Private housing is a vital resource and we have long been invested in making it a fair and mutually beneficial process for Landlords and Tenants. We have only ever charged minimal fees to our tenants and therefore, with the introduction of the tenant fees ban, have decided to transfer some benefits to our Landlords too!

We are now offering our 'Find a Tenant' service from just £150 + VAT INCLUDING rent evict insurance and rental guarantee with our full managed service! Landlords can also benefit from 50% off inventories and deposit protection scheme, and our Fully Managed Service at only 10% + VAT.

If you just want us to find you a tenant, we now offer a fixed fee of just £300+VAT.

 

Permittable Fees

There are still exceptions where a Tenant will be required to pay tenancy related costs to the Landlord. These include:

- Refundable tenancy deposits - The new cap is five weeks rent if your annual rent is less than £50,00,0 or six weeks if your annual rent is above £50,000.

- Refundable holding depositS - capped at no more than one weeks rent.

- Payments to change the tenancy agreement (only if requested by the Tenant) to cover administration - capped at £50.

- Default charges for late payment of rent and replacement of lost keys/security device.

- Charges can be applied for early termination of the tenancy if initiated by the tenant.

 

To find out more simply visit our services page to see the full breakdown of our Landlord and Tenant Fees or give us a call on 01704 54 34 34.

When buying a new property, especially if it requires some updating, the bathroom is often one of the most expensive rooms to renovate/modernise. In fact, a modern kitchen and bathroom adds value to a homes asking price, so if you have a limited budget purchasing a home that requires updating in these areas can save you £££ upfront, and you can save up to change them further down the line- a popular tactic for first time buyers! Likewise if you are selling a home perhaps you want to update your bathroom to add value to your home, but the value added with rarely be more than the cost of the bathroom fitting itself.

Whichever your situation, our 20 top tips will help you get a (almost) brand new bathroom on a budget.

 

1. Peel and Stick Tiles

Hold off on the expensive brand new set of tiles! Peel and stick tiles, or even sheets can be easily installed, best as splashbacks to brighten up your sink, or even to stick to the side of your bath panels for a luxury effect. This is a great tip if your bathroom suite is past it’s best- the tiles will brighten it up and make your bath a feature. They are also great for framing bathroom mirrors for another stand out feature. 

Price- From £20 per pack

2. Repaint the Walls

Obvious but essential! Use a good semi-gloss paint that will withstand humidity and freshen up your old bathroom. Using a bright neutral colour can open up a small bathroom or you could be brave and choose a colour that fits with your chosen theme.

TOP TIP: Check out the sales, we have seen 2.5l pots for just £5 in the B&Q sale!

3. Update Your Flooring

Again there is no need to break the bank with the range of waterproof vinyl flooring available these days. Our favourite styles include plain marble tile effect or to really jazz up and take the attention away from a faded suite, choose vibrant Victorian tile style. Your bathroom will instantly be modernised and on-trend.

From £20 per square metre

4. Install a Towel Rail

Whether you don’t have one or yours is old, rusting or plastic, a shiny new towel rail will instantly add a clean and modern touch to your bathroom. Simple chrome is great and can be purchased from just £40 if you check out the sales, or if you can afford it and it suits your chosen style go for a copper or gold rail for an unusual effect.

From £40 -£120

5. Get or Upgrade Your Vanity Unit

A nice vanity unit adds an extra design feature to your bathroom and means you can tidy away any clutter to keep the overall look fresh and clean. If you have limited space choose a model that fits around your sink. If you have a unit that is a little tired, have a walk round your local DIY stores and pick up some sample paint pots from as little as 10p per pot- a few of these should be enough to give your unit a fresh lick of paint.

Units From £30, Paint less than £5

6. Install a Feature Shelf

Bathroom walls can be pretty boring and is there no reason not to decorate them as you would other rooms of the home. Add a shelf and use as an accessory rather than storage, decorated with candles, nice toiletries or plants as you prefer.

From £10

7. Invest in a Bigger Mirror

Particularly if you have a bathroom on the smaller side, a large mirror is not only modern but will make the room look a lot bigger.

 From £30

8. Replace/Add A Bathroom Blind

A cheap and simple way to add a splash of colour or pattern, and handy to limit the light for those who like to have a nice relaxing bath in a darkened room.

From £10

9. Freshen Up Your Grout

Dirty grout screams old and tired and can bring down even the nicest of tiles. Replace your grout and don’t be afraid to use a coloured grout, for example grey or black can make lighter colour tiles really stand out (and will look better for longer than white!). Even glitter grout exists in 2019!

From £10

10. LED Lights

Stick on LED strip lights can be added everywhere from below the window sill, around your mirror, around the bases of the walls or the base of your bath for a really modern look. Make sure you choose the waterproof variety.

From £15 for a set

11. Add A Waterfall/Rain Style Shower Head

To change your shower from out of date to up to date simply add a new shower head for that luxury feel.

From £15

12. Replace Your Taps

Even if your suite is on the older side, shiny new taps will update and refresh the look of your sink and bath.

From £20 each

13. Get A Bath Caddy

Channel your inner interior designer in the easiest way by getting a bath caddy and simply adding some bubble bath or bath salts and maybe a candle for a look straight out of the next Home catalogue. Again it will also modernise the look of your bathroom suite.

From £10

14. Upgrade Your Bathmats

Bathmats get tired and worn pretty quickly through their use, so make sure you purchase a fresh matching set. Depending on your chosen colours for your bathroom update, a bright set can bring some colour to the room or alternatively go for wood if your new bathroom has a natural feel.

From £10

15. Invest in Display Towels

An old set will spoil your overlook look. Choose a set of 2 or 3 towels that go well with the rest of your décor, mismatching the colours patterns is modern an up to date or if you feel you have enough features go for variations of your main colour scheme. Just don’t match them to the colour of the wall.

From £20

16. Add some Greenery

Proven to boost mood, reduce stress and have an overall calming effect plants are the perfect addition to a modern bathroom as they both look AND feel great. Pop a hanging ivy on your feature shelf add a modern feel or dot around some big leaves such as a cheese plant. For a really modern look stick to leaves rather than flowers in neutral pots of white or metal.

You can get a selection of fake plants for £10

 17. Add Some Art

Brighten up plain walls with a few strategically placed pieces – if you have a large wall with no much going on, or above the WC. If you don’t want to splash out on prints find some old frames and paint them to match with your sample paint pots and frame newspaper clippings - great if you have a monochrome look- or leftover wallpaper samples.

£0-£10 depending what you already have at home

18. Get Some Candles

Bathrooms whilst functional are also a place of relaxation, and no bathroom is complete without a few candles. If you have space you could strategically place lanterns with a selection inside, perhaps  surrounded by pebbles, or arrange a few of different heights in the corners of your bath. For a longer lasting/safe effect if you have little ones realistic, flickering fake candles are available.

From £5 for a set of 3

19. Plan Your Bathroom Storage

Toileteries and cleaning products can make your bathroom appear cluttered. Smart storage options such as thin boxes that slot down the side of your WC, shower shelves and or even just baskets can help tidy up your products.

Prices Vary

20. Jazz up the essentials.

Choose a matching bathroom set such as soap dish, refillable hand wash and toothpaste holder that fits with your theme or colour scheme to smarten up your overall look.

Sets from £5

 

Just a few of these options will result in a total makeover (we don’t recommend doing every single one!) that will make your home more saleable, or modernise it until you can afford to fit a brand new dream bathroom design. Some of the best places to look for great deals include B&Q, eBay, Amazon and Ikea, and always make sure to check the sale items. Have fun!

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