By reading this article you will understand what an energy performance certificate (EPC) is and why every rented property must have one. Furthermore, you will also learn what the penalties are if you are found to not be meeting regulations relating to EPCs.
What is an energy performance certificate?
The certificate shows how energy efficient a building is on a scale from A to G, with A being the best and G being the worst. They also identify changes that can be made to improve the energy efficiency of a building. They are required for selling or renting any commercial or domestic properties in England and Wales.
What do landlords need to know?
Every landlord must adhere to the following (last updated: April 2019):
- A valid energy performance certificate
Since April 2008 every property must have a valid certificate.
- Minimum rating
From April 2018 onwards, rental properties must have a rating of E or higher, unless the property qualifies for exemption. A property is exempt if the landlord has spent up to £3,500 and the property still doesn’t meet the minimum rating. This came into force in April 2019 and is considered a ‘soft cap’.
- Section 21 compliance
Landlords in England from October 2015 must show potential or existing tenants a valid energy performance certificate. Failing to comply to this means that a valid Section 21 eviction notice cannot be served legally. This makes compliance a crucial element of every tenancy agreement.
When must a landlord renew an EPC?
Energy performance certificates last for 10 years unless major work has been undertaken on a property. However, if you undertake any work that is likely to change the EPC rating, it is recommended you apply for a new one.
Are there any penalties if you do not have EPC for a rented property?
Trading Standards is responsible for enforcing relevant regulations and they can fine landlords £200 for every breach of the regulations in-place. Furthermore, failing to meet minimum rating standards could result in a penalty of up to £4,000.
Can an EPC rating improve the value of a property?
According to research undertaken in the UK, the value of a home can be improved by increasing the EPC rating. For more information, see our dedicated article title ‘what is the value of improving your home’s EPC rating?’