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Universal Credit update

13 November 2018

With Universal Credit (UC) being in the news so frequently, it's easy to loose track of recent changes and advice. So, to help you, we've highlighted some of the key messages from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and provided links for further information. Read More...

Government announces proposals for new Housing Court

13 November 2018

The Government has today launched a consultation which looks at reforming the routes to justice for both landlords and tenants, with the most radical option being to set up a new Housing Court. Read More...

Councils given £2 million to fund crackdown on rogue landlords

08 November 2018

As a result of new funding announced by the Government today, councils will be able to bid for a share of a £2 million fund designed to help local authorities step up enforcement action against rogue landlords. Read More...

It's never too late? It might be this time: Eco-energi on MEES

Tuesday 26 September 2017

We catch up with John Davidson, Managing Director for Eco-energi about the importance of being prepared for the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard and how they are helping agents to comply ahead of 2018.

There’s an old proverb, centuries old in fact, called “For Want of a Nail”; it’s all about what can go drastically wrong if the smallest fault isn’t corrected at the right time. Well, we all learn from our mistakes, but those mistakes don’t usually affect our livelihoods.

In seven months’ time the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) comes into play, so landlords and letting agents who haven’t taken steps to ensure their properties have an EPC rating of E or above, could be putting their revenue stream at risk. Scarier still is the prospect that properties with an EPC rating of D or E, when last checked - and that could be ten years ago - may be downgraded to an F or G. EPCs are valid for ten years but these assessments are now more accurate, so landlords and agents need to know where they stand.

Peace of mind or confrontation with the brutal truth?

Eco-energi has created a Compliance Advisory Report (CAR), specifically for landlords and agents, that provides the information they need to have about their property vis à vis MEES compliance. Our CAR service examines the current EPC, taking into account any remedial works that have been carried out since it was made, and provides advice on what needs to be done to improve the EPC rating to band E. It’s a desktop service which means we can keep the cost low; from as little as £20 you can have peace of mind, a pleasant surprise or a confrontation with the brutal truth. But knowledge is power and knowing what needs to be done is the first step in being proactive about MEES compliance. CAR is particularly useful for properties where the EPC is going to be in bands F or G, because funding the upgrades can be done through the Green Deal.

Funding the upgrades

The process won’t be painful if you decide to go down the route of Green Deal funding. Through Green Deal landlords can have boilers, heating controls, insulation, ground and air-source heat pumps and central heating installed with little or no upfront costs.  What might be of interest to landlords and tenants is the Green Deal’s Golden Rule, which states that loan repayments, which are made via the electricity bill, must be equal to, but cannot exceed, the savings achieved by the thermal improvements. Green Deal funding can only be accessed through Green Deal Approved Providers like Eco-energi, and there are currently ten Approved Providers in the UK.

Time to take steps

Every article about MEES compliance places a big emphasis on time and the fact that it’s running out, and this article’s no different. But with seven months to go, so much can be achieved. Once a landlord has a completed CAR on a specific property, and decided that Green Deal Funding is the route to take, he or she can have an approved Green Deal Plan and Green Deal Approved Installers on-site and ready to start work within three weeks.

It’s simple four-stage process:

1. Assessment. A Green Deal Assessor visits the property(ies) and assesses its individual energy-efficiency needs, taking MEES into account.

2. Advice Report. TheAssessor will recommend the energy-saving measures appropriate for the property(ies) that can be financed through the Green Deal in a Green Deal Advice Report.

3. The Plan. The Green Deal Provider will produce a Green Deal Plan which sets outthe measures to be installed, repayments and interest rates that will be charged.

4. Installation. A Green Deal Approved Installer will be contracted to undertake the work. (It is a condition of the Green Deal Code of Practice that only an authorised Green Deal Installers with PAS 2030 qualifications can undertake the work.)

There’s still time to make a difference. CAR represents a small outlay that could save landlords and agents long term grief.

www.eco-energi.com

Call: 01344 876 672