A landlord’s guide to Energy Performance Certificates
By |Published On: 3rd May 2024|

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A landlord’s guide to Energy Performance Certificates

By |Published On: 3rd May 2024|

Landlords need to ensure the Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for their rented homes meet a certain standard in order to let to new tenants or continue existing tenancies.

Private rented homes in England and Wales need to have an EPC rating of E or higher.

An EPC is needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. All landlords must order an Energy Performance Certificate for potential buyers or tenants before marketing their properties to sell or let.

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What information does an EPC contain?

An EPC includes information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs. It also contains recommendations about how to reduce energy usage and save money.

It assigns the property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). This is valid for ten years.

How do I get an Energy Performance Certificate?

You must find an accredited assessor to evaluate your property and produce the certificate.

Landlords with properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can visit the government website to find an EPC assessor.

Those with properties in Scotland can visit the Scottish EPC Register website to find an assessor.

Tenants’ rights to request energy efficiency improvements

Tenants can request consent from their landlords to conduct energy efficiency improvements in their properties. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse consent.

However, it’s the responsibility of the tenant to ensure that the works are funded. The intention is that no upfront costs should fall on the landlord unless the landlord wishes to contribute.

Future minimum energy efficiency standards in the UK

The government’s aim is for as many private rented homes as possible to be upgraded to EPC Band C by 2030 in England and Wales.

Funding improvements

The government states that you will never be required to spend more than £3,500 (including VAT) on energy efficiency improvements.

If improvements will cost more than that, a landlord may have the option to make all the improvements that can be made up to that amount and then register for an ‘all improvements made’ exemption.

Other exemptions

Other exemptions

It’s illegal to let a property that breaches this EPC requirement in England and Wales. Upgrades must be made to improve the rating unless there is an applicable exemption. This can include the following circumstances:

  • The upgrades would devalue the property by more than 5%
  • Recommended work has been carried out but the rating did not improve
  • The mortgage lender will not approve the recommended upgrades
  • The building is listed and the upgrades would ‘unacceptably alter’ the property’s character or appearance

If you believe your let falls into one of these categories, you can register it on the PRS Exemptions Register.

Penalties for non-compliance

If you fail to meet these regulations, a fine of up to £5,000 per property could be imposed for breaching EPC regulations.

Find suitable protection for your property

There are various risks associated with letting a residential home. Help keep your investment safe, whether it’s a single property or a portfolio. Our comprehensive Landlord Insurance can help protect you from financial risks, including accidental and malicious damage by tenants and loss of rent if the property becomes uninhabitable due to an insured event.

The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Just Landlords accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.

FP703-2024

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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