Landlords and Energy Performance Certificates
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is an overview of the energy efficiency of your property. This is a statutory requirement by the government where all tenancies now must have an energy efficiency rating of ‘E’ or above.
On an EPC, colour-coded ratings indicate the efficiency of the property from A to G. Green is for the letter A and is the most energy efficient. Landlords with a ‘G’ rating (least efficient) are required to upgrade their properties.
What Is the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Rating?
It wasn’t until 2018 that the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were introduced in England.
Properties rated ‘F’ or ‘G’ are an instant fail. Most landlords end up paying an average of around £3,500 to bring their investments up-to-standard. If a landlord has spent that amount on improvements and still receiving an ‘F’ or ‘G’ rating then they can apply for third party funding to help them reach the ‘E’ rating.
Landlords in Scotland have a timeline of March 31, 2022 for all landlords to get their properties up-to-date (ie band ‘E’ or more). The government there have also proposed that tenancies should reach a ‘C’ rating by 20130 – although this actually legislation (yet).
Why Do You Need an EPC Rating?
EPC ratings look at the energy efficiency of a property and in doing so let tenants know roughly how much they can expect to pay in utility bills. If the property has an ‘A’ rating then they will be ‘quid’s in’ so-to-speak. If it doesn’t have an A or B rating, there are ways tenants can upgrade themselves by making sure lights are switched off when rooms are empty and using a lower level of heating etc. That’s because the ratings certificate includes ‘current’ and ‘potential’ indicators.
As well as energy spent, the EPC test will also look at how CO₂ the property emits.
All landlords need an EPC
It’s The Law
Quite simply, an EPC is a legal requirement when renting out a property. You won’t be able to let if you don’t have one. Go ahead and you will be fined, if caught. The requirement has actually been in existence since 2008 (England and Wales) and 2009 in Scotland. It’s only in recent years that landlords have been compelled to reach the ‘E’ grade.
A lot of landlords these days do care about the environment and how energy efficient their properties are. This lets them know. It also means they can take steps to improve matters in their investment property.
To tenants, that is. The more energy efficient a property is then the less they will have to fork out on their gas and electricity bills. Now, who doesn’t want that?
In the sense that if you don’t have an EPC you may not be able to get rid (evict) a bothersome tenant. That’s because you haven’t played by the rules in the first place so it could invalidate the Section 21 in the eyes of a judge.
How long does an EPC last?
An EPC lasts for 10 years – so it’s not exactly an arduous requirement. The date of assessment should be on the certificate, but landlords who want to double check how many years they have left on their EPC can look at the EPC Registers website.
How much does an EPC cost?
You can expect to pay around £30 for an EPC (more if you live in London). It will vary though, depending on the size of your property ie a one-bedroom flat will take less time to assess than a five-bedroom HMO. To find an EPC assessor you can look online at the EPC Register for a tradesman in your area.
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