Energy Performance Certificates
Are you aware that since 2008, an Energy Performance Certificate for a rental property has been a legal requirement for Letting Agents and Landlords to offer to Tenants in order for them to make an educated decision as to whether or not to proceed into entering into a Rental Agreement based on how energy efficient their potential new home may be?
Fines of £200 can be imposed on a Landlord/Agent who lets a property and fails to produce a current certificate.
What is an EPC?
Generally speaking much like the multi-coloured sticker on new appliances, EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). EPCs let the person who will use the building know how costly it will be to heat and light, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.
The EPC will also state what the energy-efficiency rating could be if improvements are made, and highlights cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating. Even if you rent your home, some improvements noted on the EPC may be worth implementing, such as switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs. (Information available from The Energy Saving Trust)
Changes to legislation
From April 2016, legislation is changing to ensure Landlords upgrade and improve their rental property which are graded as an F or a G. Should their Tenants request more loft insulation or a more efficient heating system to bring their home to a band E, then Landlords will be obliged to carry out the work or a penalty may be imposed.
A further warning to Landlords is that from April 2018 you will no longer be able to rent out your property if it falls into a Band F or G. If a current tenancy is ongoing you will be able to continue that, but will not be able to re-let until it is brought up to a ‘lettable standard’ (minimum of Band E)
It is estimated that almost 10% of the rental property available throughout England and Wales fall below the required standards, costing Tenants on average £1,000 a year more to heat their homes compared with those who rent properly insulated and heated property.
Landlords please also note that an EPC is only valid for 10 years so it may be necessary to have a new assessment carried out – we use Lee Hurford at Property Professionals based near Dorchester who we are happy to refer you to.