Energy Performance Certificates for Landlords
1st December 2015
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If you are advertising a property to let, by UK law you must have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) from an accredited assessor.

EPC ratings must be displayed alongside adverts of properties, so your letting agent will require it before marketing your property.

The EPC shows how energy efficient and environmentally friendly your property is on a scale of A-G, with A being the most efficient and therefore having the lowest fuel bills and making less impact on the environment through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

It also lists the measures you can take to improve the EPC rating, which can be anything from fitting draught-proofing strips to cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and even solid wall insulation. Although improving the energy efficiency of your property can be expensive, it is a long-term investment that will help you to have a higher EPC rating, plus:

  • Happier tenants (as the property will be warmer & cheaper to heat)
  • An easier to let property and/or higher rent
  • Lower void rate as tenants more likely to extend their contract if their home doesn’t cost a fortune to keep warm
  • Increased value of the property
  • Less chance of rent arrears (fuel bills likely to be a smaller proportion of tenants’ income)

Importantly, if you started a new tenancy (or renewed one) from 1st October 2015, you cannot serve a Section 21 Notice if you haven’t given your tenant an EPC beforehand.

Does My Property Need an EPC?

Not every rented property needs an EPC; the guidelines are:

  • Individual house, flat or dwelling (any self-contained property with its own kitchen/bathroom facilities) - one EPC for the dwelling.
  • Bedsits or room lets where there is a shared kitchen, toilet and/or bathroom - no EPC is required.
  • Shared flats/houses (eg: a single house let to a group of students under a single tenancy agreement) - one EPC for the whole flat/house.
  • Mixed self-contained and non-self-contained accommodation - one EPC for each self-contained flat/unit, but no EPC required for the remainder of the property.
  • A room in a hall of residence or hostel - no EPC is required.

There are fixed penalties of £200 per dwelling for failing to provide an EPC or make one available when required.

The Near Future – Minimum EPC Rating Required

Be aware that new regulations mean that from 1st April 2018 all rented properties must have a minimum EPC rating of “E”, so if you are renting an older property that doesn’t meet this requirement you will need to invest in insulation and other energy-saving measures to bring it up to this specification by 2018.

Landlords should also note that the same regulations also mean that from 1st April 2016, tenants living in F and G-rated homes will be able to request improvements such as more insulation, at which point the landlord will be legally bound to bring the home up to an E-rating.

Around 400,000 privately-rented homes in England and Wales currently fall below the E-rating.

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