New for old
April 2018 sees the introduction of a new green energy bill that means properties with an energy performance certificate (EPC) grade of either F or G cannot be let, or existing tenancies renewed.
And, from 1 April 2023, landlords must not continue letting a non-domestic property which is already let if that property has an EPC rating of band F or G.
As a result, nearly 20 per cent of commercial property buildings in England and Wales could be barred from being let in the future because they do not comply with new government energy standards, according to global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. One in five commercial landlords are expected to be affected by this change and will need to upgrade their heating systems.
Darren Finley, chief commercial officer, Ideal Commercial Boilers
Proactive contractors should be talking to clients in this sector about their older boilers and switching them out ahead of the change through a planned maintenance strategy.
The real issue here is the mounting pressure on landlords with tenancies due for renewal around April 2018 who are still heating their buildings with older boilers and systems, as they will end up being out of action for longer than necessary. They also run the risk of their assets decreasing in value if they don’t make the right improvements now.
While replacing an inefficient boiler with an efficient one is the obvious solution, we would also urge contractors to use it as a chance to reiterate the benefits of routine inspection of the whole heating system. This means encouraging clients to consider preventative maintenance and introduce controls and water treatment. This is a great opportunity for contractors to deepen their client relationships by providing advice to ensure their rental properties continue to generate revenue.
Richard Harvey, category director for heating, Wolseley
As a result of this change in legislation, there’s a huge number of boilers and hot water systems that won’t be allowed to be repaired on a like-for-like basis. This means longer installation times and longer downtime.
One of the key challenges for installers will be explaining to those who want to avoid spending on a new heating system that they have to spend to save. Many will want to sweat their asset into the ground, and this is particularly common for smaller businesses. However, they’re putting themselves at higher risk of costly breakdowns.
To support landlords, installers should be getting in touch before the year is up to educate customers on this new legislation. This is a great opportunity for installers to grow their business, be seen as a trusted partner, and ensure customers’ businesses are up to date with legal requirements and business best practice.
The law on workplace pensions has changed. Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called “automatic enrolment”.
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