Rural landlords worried about meeting updated energy efficiency rules if they rent out listed and heritage properties may be eligible to apply for a temporary exemption.
Strutt & Parker says that despite Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) first being introduced in 2018, there is still confusion over the rules for listed property within a conservation area.
MEES rules generally require let homes to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above.
But landlords – particularly those renting out listed properties on farms and rural estates – can find it challenging to find appropriate and cost-effective ways to raise them to the required standards, without risking damaging the fabric of the building.
Russell de Beer, a director of Strutt & Parker said: “Landlords of such properties can find themselves in a tight corner when juggling new EPC obligations and the costs of carrying out comprehensive schedules of work to increase EPC ratings."
He said, however, there were allowances within the legislation which can help, and rural landlords can apply for one of six different exemption types.
He added: "We have successfully registered several period homes using this exemption service, on the basis that a recommended wall insulation measure would have a negative impact on the building or that the property would be devalued by more than 5% by the installation of a recommended measure.
“Once registered, the exemptions are valid for five years, giving a welcome reprieve and opportunity to improve the property within a more manageable financial time frame.
“Although some capital expenditure may be necessary before successfully registering an exemption, landlords should be reassured that a portfolio of listed or heritage properties need not be written off as unsuitable for future tenancies.”