Birthday Cakes & EPC’s ! (May 2016)

May saw us celebrate our second birthday for Wrexham Property Meet and so to mark the occasion we had cupcakes galore (courtesy of Emz Cakes) !

It’s fair to say that we’ve come a long way from our first meet 2 years ago, when one person attended and another lady did attend but went to the wrong Starbucks ! In that time we’ve moved venue and our contact list has grown to in excess of 60 people…..not bad for an informal property meet if we do say so ourselves ! We’ve also met some great people along the way who we now consider to be our friends.

I’m sure over the next 2 years we can go from strength to strength and increase in numbers and welcome even more speakers and new faces to our monthly event.

Following on from this theme Richard thanked everyone for attending and for their support over the last 2 years, without which the property meet would not be a success.

Richard handed over to Darren Byrne from Watts Commercial Finance who introduced himself and explained that he was attending in place of Mark Heywood this month who was otherwise engaged and sent his apologies. Darren gave a general overview of Watts and what they are able to offer. Watts Commercial Finance have been around since 2006 and brokered £185 million pounds worth of business in 2015.

Watts are able to give an opinion on property portfolios if anyone is looking for this service. They are also involved in property development as in new out of the ground and as well as refurbishments. Darren highlighted a deal which is ongoing at the moment which involves an 86 bedroom Holiday Inn. He explained that typical residential rates are usually 3.75% – 4.25% over LIBOR however this differs depending on a persons individual circumstances.

Darren concluded by saying that Watts would love to help if they are able to. If you have any questions or should you wish to contact Darren or Mark their contact details are as follows:-

Tel: 01270 611000
Mobile: 07855 217508
E Mail:

We then turned to our main speakers for the morning, Louise Harper from Handelsbanken and Geraint Jones who is a local Registered Chartered Surveyor.

Geraint began by introducing himself and informing everyone that he currently runs Inspexs Limited who carry out EPC’s (Energy Performance Certificates). EPC’s have now been in force since 2007, in that time he has carried out approximately 5,000 EPC inspections.

He said he has been looking at properties for 35 years now and in his opinion rental properties have vastly improved in today’s market. He went on to explain that as of 2018, before a landlord can rent out a property they will have to have an EPC with a minimum ‘E’ rating, if they have an ‘F’ or a ‘G’ then they won’t be able to rent that property out on a new tenancy, unless they bring it up to the relevant EPC rating. This in turn will have an effect on mortgages. Landlords need to be mindful of this and take steps to ensure that their properties are up to the required standard. He made the point that regulations are changing all of the time.

Finally Geraint concluded by highlighting a recent change which had come into force in April this year, which gives tenants the right to request that their landlord improve the thermal efficiency of their rental property. Any such improvements would be at the tenants expense. Overall most properties will be compliant with the new requirements coming into force in 2018.

Should anyone wish to contact Geraint, his contact details are:-

Geraint Jones
Mobile:- 07977 542714

Louise from Handelsbanken went on to highlight the potential impact from a credit point of view in relation to the new EPC requirements coming into force in 2018. She stated that as a bank the new requirements had started to appear on their radar. At the moment there is time to consider the potential implications and they are starting to look at property portfolios in this regard.

If a landlord has properties within their portfolio with low EPC ratings, then they as a bank would have to factor this into any decision that is made in relation to any loan that is offered to that landlord. For example any 5 year deals agreed at the present time will take us beyond 2018, therefore they have to be mindful of the EPC rating because if it is not to the required 2018 standard, there could be potential loss of rental income if the landlord has to carry out work to bring the property up to the required standard.

Landlords needs to consider what they already own especially where they have loans against those properties. She explained how the potential implications had suddenly struck her last year when she was dealing with a client who had inherited a property following someone passing away. In that case the property did not have a minimum ‘E’ rating.

She stated that all landlords need to be mindful of the forthcoming changes and ensure their current portfolios comply with the new requirements which will come into force. From the banks point of view they will start looking at this now and landlords may need to provide their lender with an EPC certificate in conjunction with a valuation.

Should anyone wish to speak to Louise, her contact details are:-

Louise Harper

Tel: 01978 264746
Mobile: 07794 819011
E Mail:

Both Geraint and Louise were thanked for their very informative update on the forthcoming changes.

I think all landlords will now be going away and checking that their portfolios are up to the required standard in time for the changes in 2018. As they say forewarned is forearmed and so at least we all have sufficient time to do any work to bring any of our properties up to the required standard if this is needed !