Upgrade required to EPC to allow extension of tenancy on 10/2/19

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Helen in Dorset
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Hello, I own and rent out a flat that had an EPC of F when I bought it in 2014. It had storage heaters, and as we initially used it as a holiday home, we upgraded these to modern electric panel heaters, which are not storage heaters. I had assumed this would improve the EPC rating, as they are much more efficient than the very old storage heaters they replaced. We recently had a survey done so that I could be compliant with the EPC rating of E when the lease comes up for renewal on 10/2/19, and the surveyor advised that, instead of improving the EPC as I had expected, we had actually made the rating worse! The surveyor recommended, as a minimum, additional insulation, conversion of all lights to low energy, and provision of storage heaters in the living room and master bedroom; he suggested using secondhand ones to keep the costs down as we explained we intended to provide gas central heating at some time in the future. Rather than re-install storage heaters and reconfigure the fuse board, I decided to install gas central heating, but needed to get a supply to the flat (there is a gas supply to the flat downstairs). I have just submitted acceptance of the quote to the gas board, but the quote advises the work may take up to 55 days before it starts, which takes me beyond the expiry of the lease. Could someone advise whether there might be any benefit in contacting the local authority to explain the situation and so avoid a fixed penalty fine, or do I need to just carry out the temporary re-installation of storage heaters and live with the abortive costs associated with doing this, and additional disruption to my tenants, who are expecting a baby? Any advice would be much appreciated.

11/01/2019 17:04

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