The environmental credentials of Wimbledon Common’s residents have been lauded since the first Wombles book was featured on the children’s TV show Jackanory in 1969.

Why landlords need to know about new EPC rulesBut how green is your home? Everybody involved in buying, selling, letting or renting homes in Wimbledon Village has a head start when it comes to lowering their carbon footprint.

It became a legal requirement for vendors and landlords to provide a free Energy Performance Certificate to prospective buyers or tenants in January 2013.

EPCs are not just a powerful marketing tool for homes that are already energy-efficient. Obtaining an EPC is the first step property owners should take if they want to be eco-friendly and save hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bills.

What is an EPC?

Energy Performance Certificates were introduced in England and Wales as part of Home Information Packs for domestic properties with four or more bedrooms on 1 August 2007 – the same month a semi-detached, two-bed house a short distance from the heart of Wimbledon Village sold for £545,000.

The requirement to produce a HIP was suspended in May 2010, but the EPC element remains in force. It’s a five-page document that…

  • Uses a scale of A to G to rate a property’s current energy efficiency and carbon footprint
  • Provides recommendations about how to achieve a higher rating
  • Estimates a property’s energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and fuel costs if the recommendations are put in place
  • Puts forward additional ideas to help bill payers save money and reduce the impact of the property on the environment

What’s checked during an EPC site visit?

It takes less than an hour to carry out an internal and external inspection of most domestic properties. During that time a qualified assessor will inspect or measure the property’s…

  • Exterior walls
  • Roof insulation
  • Floor
  • Windows
  • Open fireplaces
  • Boiler
  • Lighting
  • Heating system
  • Heating controls
  • Hot water cylinder insulation
  • Ventilation system
  • Conservatory and extensions

While homeowners can recoup many of the costs of improving their property’s EPC rating through its higher value and lower fuel bills, landlords have an extra incentive to improve the carbon footprint of a buy-to-let investment.

From 1 April, tenants will have the right to request landlord consent to carry out energy-efficiency improvements. Under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, this consent cannot be unreasonably withheld unless the landlord proposes implementing alternative energy efficient measures.

From April 2018 it will be unlawful to grant new residential or commercial leases unless the property has a minimum EPC rating of E. This ruling will apply to all new and existing residential lettings from April 2020 and will be extended to commercial lettings in April 2023.

How to improve your property’s EPC rating

The good news for landlords is that the vast majority of properties in Wimbledon do not require any improvement to achieve an EPC rating of E.

The ratings are based on the number of Standard Assessment Procedure points a property scores during the EPC inspection.

For a property to achieve an A rating, it needs 92-100 SAP points. Homes with a B rating have 81-91 SAP points, C-rated homes have 69-80 SAP points, while E-rated homes need to score only 39-54 SAP points.

Extra SAP points are earned by making energy-efficient improvements. Fitting a modern condensing boiler, for example, will earn a property 47 SAP points and elevate it into the E-rating band immediately.

Other forms of energy-efficient improvements, however, do not carry as much weight when it comes to a property’s EPC rating. Installing double glazing is worth only 4 SAP points, upgrading roof insulation earns 10 SAP points, while cavity wall insulation adds 13 to a home’s SAP points total.

In Coombe, for example, homes with an EPC rating of C are typically worth 15% more than a similar property with an EPC rating of E.

For an up to date valuation of the rental and sale value of your property in Wimbledon, Southfields, Kingston Hill or Coombe Hill, contact Robert Holmes & Co today.


About the author

Nicolas Holmes

Nick joined Robert Holmes to inject fresh ideas and help grow the New Homes department of Robert Holmes as well as helping to inject technology into the business and to grow its client base. Together with one of the Directors Nick is in charge of all Development opportunities that Robert Holmes deals with along with sales. Aged 40, he provides succession together with the two existing directors. Nick has always been focused on building client relationships and sales. He built up his own gallery in Chelsea, where he had a loyal following of customers and artists.

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