My Property Box is advising private landlords in the region that they could be left with unrentable properties unless they meet minimum energy efficiency standards.

Landlords have been required to achieve a minimum E rated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) since 2018 for new tenancies or tenancy renewals – but from April 1 the regulations will apply to all existing residential tenancies.

That means, subject to some exemptions, it will be unlawful to continue letting a domestic property with an EPC rating of F or G. Those failing to comply could face a fine of up to £5,000.

Innovative Darlington-based letting agents My Property Box is advising private landlords to safeguard their incomes by ensuring properties achieve a minimum E rated EPC. It adds that the government has already indicated the minimum threshold may rise to band C by 2030.

The three most common methods of improving a home’s energy efficiency rating are servicing the central heating boiler, replacing the boiler with a more efficient model or extra loft insulation. Other measures include installing wall insulation, LED lights and double or triple glazing.

Ben Quaintrell, founder and managing director of Darlington-based My Property Box, said: “We work closely with all our landlords across the North East and North Yorkshire to ensure their rental properties comply to all relevant legislation, not just those concerning energy efficiency.

“However, many private landlords may be unaware of this major change in legislation and don’t have long to ensure their properties have an E rated EPC.

“Landlords should also be aware that there is a £3,500 cap on the cost of the work necessary to achieve an E rating. Those unable to reach this band can register an exemption if they have spent up to the £3,500 cap.

“This remains a positive measure which will force rogue landlords to improve standards while reducing CO2 emissions, which is also good news for tenants.”

The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) used to determine an EPC rating grades an E banding at 34 to 59 SAP points. The most efficient A rating must score 92 to 100 SAP points.

According to the Government’s Housing Survey, 29 per cent of homes in England in 2017/18 had an EPC C rating, 51 per cent a D rating and 14 per cent an E rating. Just 1 percent of homes attracted an A rating – with the least efficient F and E bands accounting for 5 percent.