Are you a property landlord who wonders “how do the EPC regulations apply to me?”
Riley Marshall looks at Energy Performance Certificates in rented housing, what you need to know as a landlord and how it can even benefit you.
What is an EPC?
EPC’s or Energy Performance Certificates details information on typical energy use and costs for a property. They have been introduced to make clear to potential tenants and purchasers what energy usage is like on each property when comparing properties on the market for sale or rent. This means they can make an informed decision about whether to proceed with a purchase or tenancy.
It allows at-a-glance comparisons between properties, by grading the property on a scale of A to G – where A is most energy efficient, and G is the least efficient. (The picture at the top of this page shows this chart that makes up part of the report.) The rating is similar to those that are supplied with electrical goods such as fridges, which we are all familiar with now.
The report details which energy saving measures could be implemented to make property more efficient. It will make recommendations on which works are suggested and what that could save the occupier money. There is also a ‘potential’ grading, which shows what could be achieved if energy saving measures – such as insulating a loft – were carried out.
I am a landlord, why do I need an EPC?
An EPC is a legal requirement for any property that is newly-built, or placed on the market for sale or to rent in the UK. If you are a property owner and you need an EPC you must use an accredited domestic energy assessor DEA who will assess your property and provide the certificate. The cost will vary depending on the size of the property and the area it is located. They are valid for 10 years.
Do all properties need EPC’s?
Yes, even if they are newly built, all properties will need an EPC as soon as they come on the market for sale or rent. Where a building has been split into individual units an EPC will be required for each unit that has a heating system.
What is a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA)?
Approved DEA’s are registered with the government scheme. The government have appointed Landmark to run the website for this scheme and details can be found here www.epcregister.com. You can opt out of displaying your own property on this site, but agents who are offering your property for sale or rent will be obliged to publish it on their website. Potential purchasers or tenants are entitled to a copy of an EPC.
What does my managing agent do?
Your Letting Agent can usually recommend contractors and can even arrange an EPC for you with a Domestic Energy Assessor. You ca can find your own, but you should check that they are members of an accredited scheme to ensure they are qualified, insured and competent, and that the certificate will be valid.
What do I need to do with the information on the report?
The recommendations made in the report are voluntary. As we write this post you are not obliged to carry out any of the works on the report, it is just for information. Obviously as the Government passes further legislation to make us greener as a nation, this may change.
What else do I need to know?
If you have had an EPC issued you can use the reference number to check out how much money and carbon emissions you can save by going to the online EPC Advisor http://epcadviser.direct.gov.uk. For more information visit the Government webpages about EPC’s and selling/renting property.
Does my rental property qualify for the Green Deal?
If you decide to take action based on the report, then some improvements may qualify for funding through the governments ‘Green Deal’ initiative. This is a scheme which aims to reduce the national carbon emissions and make homes more energy efficient. The Green Deal launched in October 2012 and allows people to make energy-saving improvements to their property, without having to pay for the work up front. The cost will be added to the electricity bills for that property and spread over time. When the occupier moves on the debt will stay with the property, because the energy saving is also staying with the property. Further details on the Green Deal are available on our ‘Green Deal – energy improvements ‘for free’’ blog.