From April 6th, the start of the next financial year, the time which landlords have available to them to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to potential tenants will reduce from twenty-eight days to just seven. That means that landlords looking to take on new tenants should have an EPC ready to go and will be required to provide the full report, within the allotted time to tenants within the seven day period.
What is an EPC?
For those who don’t yet have one, an EPC is a report which charts the energy efficiency of a property. Assessors will conduct a survey of various parts of the property – the windows, cavity wall insulation and so on – and will generate a document which gives an overall rating and a number of measures that may help improve the energy efficiency of a property.
How much does it cost?
The cost of EPCs can vary, but landlords don’t need to spend much more than £50. Numerous suppliers provide the EPC service and many, such as the NLA, offer discounts to members. The fine for not providing an EPC within the legal time limit can be anything up to £200, so it is a small price to pay.
Taking on recommendations
Within the report, there may be a number of suggested improvements for the property in question. This will, firstly, mean the day to day running of your property costs less, but will also be more attractive to tenants. More tenants than you think will be interested in the running costs and efficiency of a property and it can be a real selling point if the home is as efficient as it can be. Landlords looking at making any improvements to their property might need to consider unoccupied property insurance.
Not only is the EPC a legal requirement, it is a very useful document for demonstrating to tenants that a property is efficient and perhaps might cost less to run than other properties they may be interested in. Landlords must ensure that they are ahead of the game to ensure all of the properties in their portfolio have a valid EPG before it becomes a legal requirement.