Alan Cleary

New energy efficiency rules could be good for brokers

We all know the little changes we can make to help the environment, such as recycling, changing to an electric vehicle or simply switching to a reusable coffee cup.

But did you know that perhaps the biggest change we can make starts even closer to home?

It’s less than a month now until new energy efficiency rules come into force, which could result in thousands of landlords being hit with a fine of up to £5,000 if they fail to meet them. In case you didn’t know, from 1st April it will become unlawful to let out domestic properties which have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of F or G to new tenants or to existing tenants who want to renew their lease.

There are some exemptions — listed buildings and holiday lets that are rented out for less than four months a year, for example — but the majority of landlords will soon need an EPC for their property. 

With costs for improvement works capped at £3,500 for landlords funding the work themselves, this could be a good opportunity for brokers to get in touch with their customers to find out if they need any help in securing finance to make any necessary upgrades.

And with just a few weeks to go before the deadline, a bridging loan could be ideal for customers in need of a short-term funding solution.

Home improvements are just one of the types of loan applications we’ll consider. Our non-regulated bridging finance products offer solutions for landlords looking to carry out refurbishments or renovations to an existing buy-to-let property. We accept applications for projects where building regulations are required or where there is no change to the overall use or nature of the premises, for example, fitting double glazing, adding insulation or installing a new boiler.

Alternatively, if you’ve got a customer who’s considering buying a property which needs improvement work before it can be let out, our refurbishment buy-to-let proposition could help.

Refurbishment buy-to-let brings together the flexibility of bridging finance with the surety of an exit on to a long-term, buy-to-let mortgage once any improvement work has been completed, providing the property meets the expected valuation following refurbishment.

Not only does this give landlords the peace of mind that they have an exit in place, they can also rest assured knowing that the price of the mortgage at offer will be the price they get on completion.

So, if you’re approached by a customer worried that the 1st April deadline is looming and in need of finance to help them meet the minimum energy efficiency targets, it’s reassuring to know there are options available out there.

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