Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) have been dominating the headlines recently.
But while many column inches have been given over to the new MEES and what they will mean for landlords, little has been said about the EPCs themselves, if and when you need them and how to make sure you are doing what you need to.
An EPC shows two things, the energy efficiency (i.e. the running costs for the property) and the environmental impact of the property (i.e. carbon dioxide emissions). Each of these is rated A to G with A being the most energy efficient. The average rating is likely to be D or E.
Here are our five top tips when it comes to EPCs:
- Find out if you need one: These certificates are necessary whenever a home is bought, sold or rented and are valid for 10 years. Any homes or flats let or sold in the last 10 years should have an EPC. Bedsits or room lets where there is a shared kitchen, toilet and/or bathroom – or rooms in university halls or hostels are exempt
- If you need one, contact an expert: An EPC must be obtained from an accredited provider. There is nothing to stop landlords undertaking the necessary training. The EPC will be given to the landlord. It will also be recorded on a central register
- Make sure you give it to your tenant at the earliest opportunity: A free EPC must be provided by the landlord (or seller) to prospective buyers or tenants at the earliest opportunity. It must also be provided to the successful buyer or the person who takes up the tenancy.
- Get evidence they have received it: An EPC can be sent electronically provided the tenant/prospective tenant agrees. You should keep a record of handing over an EPC, whether this is done manually or electronically. If done manually you should obtain written receipts. Only a copy need be provided; not the original.
- Put it in your adverts: All advertisements to either sell or rent a property must clearly show the energy rating of the building. This includes ads in all media – newspapers and magazines, any promotional material sent out by the landlords or estate or letting agents and on the internet.
You can be fined £200 for failing to provide an EPC, with letting agents liable for a £200 fine PER ADVERTISEMENT if they fail to display the EPC graph in window ads.
If you lose your EPC you can always find it at epcregister.com
To read more about EPCs and the MEES visit the RLA guide here.
Why don’t you try our quick quiz on the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards to see how much you know about the incoming changes here.