Landlords - Do you need an EPC?

Landlords and agents must provide all prospective tenants with a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) by law. At a time when energy prices are rising and energy efficiency is becoming more important, tenants require the information contained in the EPC to make an informed decision about a property.

Back in September a freedom of information request on the level of EPC compliance was published.

Shockingly, the results showed that almost three quarters of privately rented homes are let without an Energy Performance Certificate, meaning that millions of landlords are breaching the law.

However, the NLA challenged these figures as the Government stated in its response to the request that “the figures were not quality assured in the normal manner of Government statistics. We are, therefore, unable to confirm the accuracy of the data or if the figures are statistically sound.”

In reality, it is likely that most landlords comply with the requirement for an Energy Performance Certificate.

However, there are a couple of legitimate reasons why private-residential landlords may not have an EPC in place:

Firstly, many tenancies will pre-date EPCs (according to the NLA’s Tenant Index, 40 per cent of tenants have lived in their current property for more than four years and so are likely to pre-date EPCs).

Secondly, there are significant numbers of households which do not require an EPC. For instance, Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), which equate to approximately 20 per cent of the market, do not need an EPC upon letting.

But those landlords who don’t have an EPC where it is required should be aware that the rules and regulations which oversee compliance are now fairly robust. In addition, the Government has taken steps to make EPCs more useful and easier to understand so they are becoming increasingly valuable to landlords and prospective tenants.

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