Whether you are letting, selling or building a new property, as a landlord you will need to organise an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This will inform future residents about the energy efficiency of the property and offer recommendations on how to improve its energy performance. Below we explain more about how to get an EPC and what your legal obligations are as a landlord.
Do I need an EPC Certificate?
Since 2008 landlords have been legally required to have an EPC. Any property being rented, sold or built cannot have an EPC rating lower than E, which has also been a legal requirement for all rentals – whether existing or new - since April 2020. If the minimum energy efficiency requirement is not met, you could be fined up to £4,000.
However, there are some exceptions. For example, a single rented room within a house does not require an EPC.
Listed buildings can also be exempt if upgrade work is not able to be carried out to make it more energy efficient. Residential buildings that will be used for less than 4 months a year are also exempt.
How do I obtain an EPC?
If you wish to manage the process yourself, you will need to find an accredited domestic Energy Assessor to carry out an energy performance assessment. Anyone living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can find one here, while those in Scotland can do so here. Alternatively, the agency managing the sale or letting of your property will be able to organise this in the early stages of the process.
How long does an EPC last?
EPCs last for 10 years and typically cost £35 to obtain. However, an EPC for a larger property may cost more, especially if it is situated in a city with a high cost of living.
Are there any penalties for not having an EPC Certificate?
If you are found not to have a valid EPC you can be fined £200 by the Trading Standards Office. Landlords can also be fined for not commissioning an EPC before the property has been put onto the property market. Commissioning an EPC means that either the landlord or agent working on their behalf has requested an accredited Energy Assessor to carry out an energy performance assessment of the property.
Do I need to have an EPC Certificate before letting my property?
Before a property can be put onto the market and made available to rent, the landlord must have ordered an EPC. If you purchased the property within the past 10 years and the energy efficiency of the property has not declined during that period, you may be able to use the EPC provided to you at the time.
What can I do if my property has a low EPC rating?
If you have a low EPC rating there are a number of ways to improve the energy efficiency of the property.
- Upgrade to LED lightbulbs: LED lightbulbs are far more energy efficient than traditional bulbs, while also being far more eco-friendly. Replace incandescent or halogen bulbs with light-emitting diodes to improve energy performance and cut down on bills.
- Insulate roofing and walls: Almost a third of all heat lost in the home can occur through the roof but installing insulation with a thickness of at least 270mm will have a big impact. Wall insulation, or solid wall insulation (especially on older pre-WWII properties), will reduce energy bills and significantly improve the EPC rating.
- Install double or triple glazed windows: Most new homes usually have double glazing improved, but you can add as many as 10 points to your EPC rating by installing new double glazing – or even more by using triple glazed windows.
- Replace the old boiler: The boiler plays a central role in the energy performance of any property. Upgrading to a newer version will ensure heat is supplied to the property far more efficiently while also saving you money.
If you are thinking of letting property in Willesden Green, Neasden, Dollis Hill or the surrounding areas, and would like more information on the points above, get in touch with our expert lettings team today.