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Private landlords in Coventry and Warwickshire could face huge bills in upgrading their properties, or be faced with fines of thousands of pounds, if the buildings fail to comply with the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), according to leading local estate agent Loveitts.

The new regulations, which came into effect on April 1, mean landlords are having to fork out to bring their properties up to scratch, or they will be restricted from granting new tenancies if the property falls below the standards.

Until now the energy rating of a property – on a scale from A to G – has not placed any statutory restriction on a landlord’s ability to sell or let. But the new regulations mean landlords can now not lawfully let a commercial or domestic rating with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G. This also extends to the renewal or extension of an existing lease.

The regulations are the second severe blow for landlords in under 12 months.

In 2017 they began to feel the bite of a triple whammy of tax changes – including the abolition of tax relief on mortgage payments – which were introduced in the buy-to-let market.

Paul Barnes, Director of Loveitts, said as it was still early days with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, it remained to be seen how the application of the regulations were dealt, and that it might be some considerable time before there was a high level of compliance.

He added: “Even with the tax changes and the new regulations, property remains one of the most popular forms of investment for people looking for a significant return on their money.

“But the recent changes mean that landlords have to stay on the ball to ensure their investment reaps dividends and to ensure they are not landed out of pocket.”

Paul added: “National estimates suggest landlords across the country are having to fork out a collective £420 million to meet the requirements of the MEES and it is likely that a lot of people in Coventry and Warwickshire too will not be able to meet the financial costs of upgrading their rental properties.

“However there are alternatives. With 175 years in business, and as the only auctioneer in Coventry and Warwickshire, Loveitts has an excellent pedigree in property auction. There are many landlords who may be able to benefit from our expert services if they feel they may have no option but to sell.”

Note to editor - Loveitts is one of Coventry and Warwickshire’s longest established estate agents. Established in 1843, it is now the largest independent multi-discipline practice of estate agents, chartered surveyors, valuers and auctioneers in the region.