Problems renting out my parents home to pay for nursing home fees

Q My parents live in a village in Shropshire. They have recently gone into a nursing home, so to help pay for the nursing home fees, the family decided to rent the property out. After approaching a letting agent in Telford they informed me that every rental property (unless it is listed) needs to have an Energy Rating with an Energy Performance Certificate [EPC] of ‘E’ or above. As their village isn’t on gas (they have oil-fired central heating) and open fireplaces in most of the rooms, their 18th Century brick detached cottage's initial EPC rating was ‘G’.

We have spent over £15,000 on new roof insulation, double glazing, and a new energy-efficient boiler, and still, we only have a rating of ‘F’. The agent in Telford says we cannot rent the property out. What suggestions do you have that would help us gain an ‘E’ rating on our EPC rating?

A Of course if you were to install a decent quality, external wall insulation, it would essentially wrap your parent’s home in a thermal duvet and should improve the EPC rating by at least one letter. That would ruin the look of the lovely cottage and make it look like a plain 1960’s box. Of course, the insulation will steadily lower the heating costs of the home and, over a period of a couple of decades, will more than pay for itself. The issue is that would cost between £20,000 and £30,000 and it’s the tenant that benefits from the savings, not you as the landlord

Yet, I have some good news for you, the Government stated that Landlords only need to spend a maximum of £3,500 to improve their rental property to ‘E rating’ when installing all the recommended measures in your original EPC. Once that has been spent, the landlord can register an exemption, and thus you will be able to rent the property out, even though it doesn’t meet the ‘E rating’. Any energy efficiency improvements to your property since 1 October 2017 can be included in the cost of those improvements within the £3,500 cost cap. As with all regulations, there is a due process to follow to enable you to register the exemptions. Therefore, if would like more information about this, please pick up the phone or send me an email.

Dawn Clarke

[email protected]

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