Energy efficiency is always something that's important to renters and buyers. But with new legislation coming into force, it's now more important than ever. From 9th January, properties advertised for sale or rent must display their energy-performance certificate (EPC) rating. Ranging from A (excellent) to the lowest grade of G, they show how energy efficient a property is.

For those of us who are meticulous before visiting or investing in a property, this is a useful development as running costs and potential improvements can be seen before any decision is made. It's also useful for tenants, as it allows us to see how much bills are likely to be for a property or whether we'll be comfortable living there. Landlords can also take advantage of this rating system as it allows them to see where they could improve their property and make it more appealing to potential tenants.

Knowing and upgrading a property's energy rating fits in with another trend in recent months. With people struggling for funds to buy a home of their own, there has been a growing trend of people looking to buy houses in good condition, rather than investing in a DIY project or renovation. This means that keeping a house, whether for personal habitation or renting, in good condition is more important than ever. Part of this means trying to obtain as high an energy rating as possible, enticing people to buy or rent your home.

So now, more than ever, it's important to keep any property in as good a condition as possible. This means making regular investment in your property is vital in order to rent it out or sell it in future. With the property market as it is, any improvement you can make will only be of benefit.