Landlords - Energy Performance Certificates

It is now a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate for rental accommodation.

Image: Lettings

From 1 October 2008 sellers and landlords are required by law to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for all buildings or parts of buildings when they are sold or rented.

What does this mean in practice?

If you are offering any accommodation for sale or let (this includes sub-letting) you will need to make an EPC available that reflects the energy performance of the accommodation on offer.

An EPC should be provided to a prospective buyer or tenant at the earliest opportunity and no later than when a viewing is conducted or when written information is provided about the building or in any event before entering into a contract to sell or let.

As a seller or landlord you are responsible for ensuring there is an EPC available for the accommodation being sold or let even if an agent or another service organization is acting on your behalf. You should therefore ensure any agents acting on your behalf are complying with the Regulations.

The EPC looks similar to the certificates now provided with domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. It tells potential buyers and tenants about the energy performance of a building so they can consider energy efficiency as part of their investment or business decision to buy or occupy that building.

All EPCs come with a recommendation report which includes advice and suggestions on improvements you could make to save money and energy.

How long are EPCs valid for?

An EPC on all rented properties will be valid for 10 years irrespective of how many times the property changes occupier. If a valid Energy Performance Certificate still exists when changing tenants no new certificate is required. This applies to both private and social sector landlords and tenants.

How do I know whether my building requires an Energy Performance Certificate?

If you have a building (with a roof and walls) that uses energy to condition the indoor climate (i.e. has heating, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation) then you will require an EPC when it is sold or let. Parts of a building designed or altered to be used as separate accommodation may require their own EPC.

The sale and let of commercial buildings can be complex with floors let to different tenants, and with a mixture of retail, office and residential accommodation. The EPC required for any space you offer for sale or let must reflect the energy performance of the accommodation on offer.

How do I get an Energy Performance Certificate?

By law, EPCs can only be produced by an accredited Energy Assessor. The accreditation schemes protect builders, owners, landlords and tenants by making sure Energy Assessors have the appropriate skills to carry out energy assessments, and that EPCs are always of the same high quality.

The energy assessor will need to understand the internal layout of the building, how it has been constructed, what it is designed to be used for, the services, controls, and lighting used. This is to understand the energy demands of each individual space (zone) in accordance with its designed use.

This information is fed into a Government approved software package which will produce your EPC. At the same time recommendations will be produced by the software and reviewed by the assessor with their knowledge of your building to produce a recommendations report to accompany your certificate. All EPCs must be registered and stored in the national register at with a unique reference number. This must be done by the Energy Assessor in conjunction with their accreditation scheme.

So if you are a landlord or letting agent then why not give us a call? We can arrange all inspection dates and times with the tenants, so it doesn’t take up much of your valuable time.

What happens if I do not have an Energy Performance Certificate?

The penalty for failing to make an EPC available to any prospective buyer or tenant when selling or letting dwellings is fixed, in most cases, at 12.5% of the rateable value of the building, subject to a minimum penalty of £500 and a maximum of £5,000. There is a default penalty of £750 where the formula cannot be applied.

What is the cost of an EPC?

The cost of an Energy Performance Certificate varies depending on the size and location of the property. Property Cert’s pricing structure is amongst the most competitive in the industry, with attractive rates for multiple properties.

To arrange an energy assessment, quotation, or for more information on the EPC process, then please feel free to contact us.

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