Most landlords understand that requirements such as having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) are all part of renting out a property. EPCs are designed to ensure that a property has a rating of E or above before it can be rented out to a tenant.
What is an EPC?
A property’s energy efficiency is important. If the property loses heat through the roof or windows or because there are draughts, it’s going to cost the tenant more to heat the property. Energy ratings go from A to G with F and G being the most inefficient.
Legislation means that landlords have an obligation to ensure that their properties meet a minimum level of E when it comes to energy performance. This is demonstrated by an assessment and an Energy Performance Certificate, something all landlords should have for every property that they rent.
What Are the Requirements?
- Before a building can be rented, the prospective landlord will have to commission an EPC.
- This needs to be made available to the tenant and any other interested party such as the local council who might ask to see it.
- EPCs are produced by qualified assessors who have been certified and registered with the Department for Communities and Local Government in England and Wales.
- The cost of an EPC is between £60 and £120.
- If you do not have an EPC for your property and try to rent it, you will be liable for a £200 fine.
- Since April 2018, properties that have an EPC rating of E and above can be rented out. Those which are classed as F or G cannot.
Choosing the Right EPC Service
While on the surface this all looks pretty straightforward, recent news that some 33,000 properties in the UK may be being let illegally as they have a rating below E highlights the importance of choosing a reputable assessor.
A report from Spec suggests that the issue might be even more widespread with more than 2.5 million EPCs in the UK having the wrong assessment. That’s because of inaccuracies in measuring properties. When an energy performance assessment is carried out, one of the most important measurements is the size of the rooms and the property.
The research found that there could be as much as a 10% difference from the true measurement in some properties which could put many that were assessed at D or E downgraded to F or G. That, in turn, means a significant number of landlords may be breaking the law without realising it.
If you have a property that is rated C or above, you probably have nothing to worry about as you will still be complying with the rules even if you drop down a band. It’s important, however, to make sure that you choose a reliable EPC assessor and one that has a track record for delivering accurate results, especially if your property is considered borderline in the first place.
Help is at Hand
If you have any concerns regarding an EPC talk to one of our local property experts we have over 21 years’ experience in helping landlords to protect their investment for the future.