An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. All landlords must order an EPC for potential buyers or tenants before marketing their properties to sell or let.
In Scotland, the EPC must be displayed somewhere in the property, for example, in the meter cupboard or next to the boiler.
What 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 use and save money.
The EPC gives the property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for ten years.
REMEMBER: You can be fined if you don’t get an EPC when you need one – The fixed penalty is £200 per dwelling.
How do I get an EPC?
You must find an accredited assessor to evaluate your property and produce the certificate.
Landlords with properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should look here: https://www.epcregister.com/searchAssessor.html
Those with properties in Scotland can find an assessor here: https://www.scottishepcregister.org.uk/assessorsearch
When is an EPC required?
EPCs are required as follows for these dwellings:
- Individual house/dwelling (e.g. a self-contained property with its own kitchen/bathroom facilities): One EPC for the dwelling
- Self-contained flats (e.g. each behind its own front door with its own kitchen/bathroom facilities): One EPC per flat
- Bedsits or room lets where there is a shared kitchen, toilet and/or bathroom (e.g. a property where each room has its own tenancy agreement): No EPC is required
- Shared flats/houses (e.g. a letting of a whole flat or house to students/young professionals etc. on a single tenancy agreement): One EPC for the whole house
- Mixed self-contained and non self-contained accommodation: One EPC for each self-contained flat/unit, but no EPC for the remainder of the property
- A room in a hall of residence or hostel: No EPC is required
REMEMBER: Property advertisements must contain the EPC rating for the property and the SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) rating – every new house must have a SAP rating, which reliably estimates the energy efficiency performance of a property – where an EPC is unavailable.
EPCs and Section 21 notices
As of 1st October 2015, landlords must provide an EPC to tenants before they can issue a Section 21 notice to evict them.
Tenants’ right to request energy efficiency improvements
As of 1st April 2016, tenants are able to request consent from their landlords to conduct energy efficiency improvements in their properties. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse content.
However, it is 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.
Minimum energy efficiency standards
From 1st April 2018, there will be a legal requirement for any properties let in the private rental sector to have a minimum EPC rating of E. The regulations will come into force for new lets and tenancy renewals from 1st April 2018, and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020.
It will be illegal to let a property that breaches this requirement, unless there is an applicable exemption. A civil penalty of up to £4,000 will be imposed for breaches.