Buildings in the UK that fail to satisfy minimum energy performance benchmarks will soon be prohibited from leasing to tenants.

Landlords in the UK will soon need to satisfy minimum benchmarks for energy efficiency or face a ban on the leasing of any underperforming properties.

The UK has introduced new regulations governing building energy performance that are set to come into effect on April 2018, imposing more stringent requirements based upon the country’s existing energy certification system.

The UK’s nationwide energy rating program became mandatory for landlords back in 2008, with all property owners required to obtain energy performance certificates (EPC’s) under a system of assessment based on a seven category sale running from A to G.

The new regulations will impose restrictions upon the actions of landlords based upon the assessment level of their EPC’s.

As of April 2018 the regulations will ban new rental or lease renewal of any buildings whose energy efficiency ratings are less than E. This means that any buildings with the lowest two energy performance ratings of F and G will need to undergo upgrade in order to remain economically viable for owners.

The regulations also prohibit buildings with E-level ratings from re-obtaining the same grade following the expiration of their EPC’s, in anticipation of more stringent energy efficiency criteria.

The introduction of the stricter regulations arrives as part of efforts by the UK government to satisfy EU targets on energy performance and emissions reductions. The UK’s EPC system for building is itself based upon EU-wide statutory requirements.

In order to abet the transition to more energy efficient buildings, rental landlords will be eligible for funding to cover upgrades and retrofits under the UK’s Green Deal program, based on recommendations made by approved EPC assessors.

Britain’s peak body for landlords has welcomed the stricter regulations, despite the potentially adverse effect it could have upon the financial standing of its members.

“Setting the standard at a sensible rather than aspirational level, allowing time to achieve it and granting exemptions if the necessary improvements cannot be funded through Green Deal or other government subsidies means these new regulations will not impose an unreasonable burden,” said Richard Lambert, CEO of the UK’s National Landlords

“The NLA actively encourages landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties because it’s good business practice.”