Special on EPC’s
LettingAProperty.com have recently reduced the cost of their Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s). You can now get an EPC for £69 (VAT INC). If the property is located in Scotland, the price is £99 (VAT INC). Quick & easy online orders!
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
The certificate will give each building a SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) rating, and this will equate to an energy rating from A to G (A is very efficient and G is very inefficient), similar to those already seen on white goods. In layman’s terms, the certificate will show the energy efficiency levels of a property, so a prospective tenant is able to determine and compare the relative financial running costs of renting your property. The certificate will include the following information:
- An estimation of the energy the property potentially uses
- Fuel costs i.e. an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power the property
- Details of potentially savings that could be made if energy efficiency improvements are made
- Carbon dioxide emissions
- Details of the person who carried out the assessment
- Who to contact for complaints
The EPC is formed by a qualified Energy Assessor making a visit to your rental property and gathering vital information about the property in order to produce the certificate.
This is an example of what an EPC looks like:
Do I need an EPC / Landlord requirements?
From the 1st of October 2008, Landlords in England & Wales must provide an Energy Performance Certificate to all new and prospective tenants. The certificates (EPCs) should be provided at no cost to prospective tenants and should be shown before any tenancy is formed i.e. during the viewing.
From October 2015, if landlords in England (not Wales) fail to show prospective and existing tenants a valid EPC, they will not be complying with the new Section 21 rules, therefore will not be able to serve a valid Section 21 notice. A landlord must serve a valid Section 21 notice tenants if they wish to legally terminate the tenancy, so it is crucial to comply with the legislation.
From April 2018, landlords will be required to achieve a minimum rating of E on the EPC for their rental property. Unless there is an accepted exemption, landlords face a penalty of up to £4,000 for failure to meet the minimum efficiency grade.
Each property is required to have it’s own EPC’s, it is not based on a “per tenant” or “per landlord” basis. However, where a tenant sub-lets a dwelling, the responsibility to make an EPC available lies with the sub-leaseholder.
Landlords and agents need to have an EPC within seven days or marketing a property or risk getting a penalty from Trading Standards.
If you have a lodger an EPC is not required.
Where can I get an Energy Performance Certificate from?
The certificate must be produced by an accredited energy surveyor. There are plenty of providers around. All you need to do is Google something like, “Energy Performance Certificates provider [insert county]”
However, I’ve often ordered mine online from lettingaproperty.com – Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for £69 (VAT inc). That includes everything! It’s easy and convenient. If the property is located in Scotland, the price is £99 (VAT inc).
|Supplier||Price||Notes / Includes|
Notes / Includes|
Energy Performance Certificates are issued once a full energy assessment of your rental property has been completed by a qualified Energy Assessor.
*If the property is located in Scotland, the price is £99 (VAT inc).
It’s important to ensure that the independent energy assessor you use is a current member of an accreditation scheme, as this ensures your energy assessor is operating to professional standards.
An EPC is only authentic if issued by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA).
What’s the purpose of the certificate?
The EPC highlights two key areas about a rental property:
- The energy efficiency rating (this is based on how much the home would cost to run). Essentially though, this will largely depend on the lifestyle of the tenants.
- The environmental impact rating (this is based on how much carbon dioxide is released into the environment because of the home)
The rating is based on factors like age, property layout, construction, heating, lighting, and insulation. The ratings are standard so a tenant can compare the energy efficiency of one rental property with another, which may influence their decision when picking a property to rent.
What is the average energy rating of a house?
The typical rating for a home is D or E.
How much does an EPC cost?
I’ve seen them as cheap as £50, but I’ve also seen them priced at £100. It ultimately depends on the location of the property, from what I’m aware. However, I would definitely shop around for quotes, because it is competitive out there.
As said, you can order one online from lettingaproperty.com for £69 (VAT inc). If the property is located in Scotland, the price is £99 (VAT inc).
How often do EPCs need to be renewed?
Each certificate will last for 10 years unless major renovation work is carried out on the property. Property owners can voluntarily get a new certificate after installation of energy efficiency measures – particularly if these improve the energy rating.
If a newer EPC has been produced for a home within the ten year period, only the most recent one is valid.
What does an Energy Inspection involve?
Booking an Energy Inspection is like booking any other appointment; a convenient time will be arranged to visit the rental property.
During the assessment the assessor will inspect the property and collect information such as external and/or internal measurements, details about the construction, and the type of heating/hot water used in your property. In order to gather the information, the assessor will need to access all rooms, the boiler and the loft.
The assessment of a 3 bed property typically takes up to 60 minutes; larger or complex properties can take longer.
After the assessment, the assessor will send you the EPC and recommendation report. The recommendation report will contain recommendations of how the property’s energy efficiency can be improved. Each recommendation will be accompanied by the typical cost savings per year as well as what the performance rating could be after improvements are made.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating / Do I have to improve the efficiency of my property?
If the recommendation report comes back with suggestions to improve the efficiency of your rental property, you are currently NOT legally obligated to act on any of the recommendations. However, from 1st April 2018, landlords will be legally obligated to make energy efficiency improvements if the report comes back with a report lower than a grade E for new tenancies and renewals, unless the landlord qualifies for an exemption and the exemption is registered on the Public Exemptions Register.
This means that if your EPC report comes back with a rating of F or G, you are legally required to make energy efficiency improvements. Sure enough, the minimum required of an E rating will be required for ALL existing tenancies from April 2020.
To clarify the meaning of “new” and “renewed” tenancy – if any of the following occur after 1st April 2018, you will be obligated to achieve the minimum required rating:
- You issue/create a new assured tenancy, including a shorthold
- You renew or extend an existing assured tenancy, including a shorthold, by agreement with the tenant.
- A fixed term tenancy agreement rolls into a statutory periodic tenancy
- A new assured tenancy by succession comes into existence when a family member takes over a Rent Act protected tenancy
- A new tenancy is granted to a Rent Act protected tenant of the same or a different property owned by the same landlord
- An agricultural occupancy or similar tenancy is granted, renewed or extended
As of April 2016, tenants are allowed to ask permission from their landlord to undertake energy efficiency improvements on their privately rented property. The idea is that it will help them reduce their running costs.
Improving energy efficiency
The top five recommendations given by assessors for improving energy efficiency have been:
- Cavity wall insulation
- Using low energy lighting
- Using thermostatic valves on radiators
- Loft insulation
- Double glazing windows
What are the penalties if I do not provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
The provision of EPCs is enforced by the Trading Standards department of the local authority. If they receive a complaint that an EPC has not been provided they can impose a penalty charge on you of £200 for each breach. As also discussed, in the ‘Landlord requirements’ section above, landlords can face a penalty of up to £4,000 for not meeting the minimum rating of E.
EPC Release Form
In light of changes to the Section 21 legislation on October 2015 for Landlords in England, it is imperative landlords show prospective tenants a valid EPC before a tenancy agreement is entered.
In order to protect myself, I make prospective tenants sign a release form, which confirms that they have been provided with a valid EPC. You can download a copy by entering your name and email address below.
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger, I am not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any advice I give is my opinion based on my experience, and is never legal or professional advice. You should always get professional advice on any legal and financial matters!