You might not think much of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and less than 10% of tenants say they considered the energy efficiency of their current home as an important factor when deciding to live there. However, having an up-to-date EPC is a must and there are situations which could prove difficult for a landlord if you don’t have one, including not being able to regain possession of a property or being able to let it out at all. More immediately a landlord could already be breaking the law if they haven’t provided a valid certificate when marketing the property.
So here are three reasons why you need one:
1. From 2020 you might not be able to let your property unless it’s rated E or above
By 1 April 2018 new and renewed tenancies will have to meet an EPC rating of E or above, with all tenancies falling in line on 1 April 2020. Failure to ensure that your property is up to this standard will mean that you will be breaking the law and as a result you could face a fine of up to £4,000. You won’t be able to rent out the property until improvements have been made to ensure it meets the energy efficiency requirements. However, there are circumstances which may mean you’re exempt which you can read about here. To find out if and what you need to do to meet the approved rating book yourself a free energy assessment now!
2. You have to give one to your tenants at the start of the tenancy
All landlords should provide their tenant with a valid EPC (among other things) at the start of all new tenancies as of 1 October 2015. If an EPC has not been supplied, you will not be able to serve a valid Section 21 notice, effectively preventing you from gaining possession of the property until the EPC (as well as other Prescribed Information) has been given to the tenant. However, this only applies if an EPC was required when the property was marketed – see below.
3. EPCs are necessary for when you market your property
Back in 2013 Government legislated that all advertisements for either selling or renting property must clearly show the energy rating of the building. This includes ads placed in newspapers and magazines, any written material produced by the landlords or estate/letting agents, and on the internet.
You must therefore provide an EPC free of charge to a prospective tenant at the earliest opportunity.
There is a penalty of £200 per advert for failing to provide an EPC so you have been warned, but again there are exceptions such as if there was insufficient time for the prospective landlord to be reasonably expected to have obtained an EPC before letting the building or if the landlord has given a valid EPC to the tenant as soon as reasonably practicable after letting the property.
Certain properties, such as listed buildings and some forms of shared housing are exempt from these regulations. For more information see our online library.
Avoid fines and falling foul of the law and get yourself an EPC for your property now!