Advice for Landlords of Older Properties
Historic buildings lend themselves to a wide variety of commercial uses, from shops, offices and other businesses, to rented homes and flats. As a landlord owning listed or historic property please follow our guidance on:
- Maintenance and refurbishment
- Energy performance certificates
- Houses in multiple occupation
- Vacant properties
If you wish to carry out work to a listed building, you may need to get permission.
Maintenance and refurbishment
A well-maintained property will reduce the risk of having to undertake major repairs and make it easier to keep the property occupied. When making changes or improvements it is important to be aware of some general principles for making alterations to older buildings.
Understanding the construction and materials of the property will help you to understand what alterations and types of work are suitable.
Certain repairs and alterations may require different permissions or need to comply with building regulations. We recommend that you understand who you need to contact about proposed changes and who can offer you further advice. See our Who to Contact page for more information.
Energy performance certificates
Before marketing your property to prospective tenants you will need to have commissioned an energy performance certificate (EPC). Buildings that do not meet a minimum E rating or have an exemption in place, cannot be legally let.
Minimum energy efficiency standards
Under the minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES), as of April 2018 landlords must have a minimum energy performance rating of E on their EPC for new lets. The rule also comes into force for existing tenancies in 2020.
This will, however, not apply to building types that are already exempt from requiring an EPC. For more information on these changes please visit GOV.UK.
Houses in multiple occupation
If you have permission to use a listed building as a house in multiple occupation (HMO), it is important to note that you will still need permission, such as listed building consent, for any changes that may affect its character. If your property is in a conservation area there may be controls (Article 4 Directions) which restrict the work you can normally do without planning permission.
The government has produced a guidance booklet for landlords and managers of HMOs, which provides further information.
There may be times when your building is unoccupied. This can increase the risks of damage and loss of significance, which ultimately impacts on the property’s rental appeal and market value. Our vacant historic buildings guide details how to protect a building’s fabric and to ensure it can be brought back into use quickly.