The full legislation
To view the full legislation, click here.
The changes in brief
- Government is introducing a minimum standard of energy efficiency rating (otherwise known as an ‘EPC rating’)
- Minimum rating is an E (including E!)
- Comes into force on 1st April 2018
- Only applies to currently empty properties, i.e. does not affect those properties that already have a tenant in-situ
- However, if a tenancy is renewed to existing tenants, this minimum standard shall apply
- From the 1st April 2020, landlords must not continue letting a property if below a rating of E. Therefore, regardless of whether or not a tenant renews – it must be improved!
- The penalty for breaching EPC regulations is £2,000 to £5,000 per property and is enforced via local authorities. It’s safe to say that your local authority, during current times of budget cuts, will be looking to generate as much income as possible from changes in regulations such as this.
- Added confusion: they have introduced these changes on the 10th anniversary of the original introduction of EPCs being a legally-required certificate.
- As EPCs expire after 10 years, many EPCs (regardless of rating) will be due for renewal anyway. They must be renewed either when advertised for sale, for let, or when a tenancy is renewed.
- There are very few exceptions – such as being within a listed building. For more information, see the full legislation here.
What can landlords do?
All EPCs are publicly available for download here.
Simply enter the property’s postcode, search, and then download to view.
Property owners need to check the following:
- Check the property’s EPC rating
- If it is a rating of E or above, go to question 2
- If it is a rating of F or lower – new EPC required
- Check the property’s expiry date
- If the EPC is still valid, no action required
- If the EPC has expired, new EPC required
Increasing an EPC’s rating
If a landlord just renews an EPC without carrying out energy efficiency improvements beforehand – it will still have the same rating and will not satisfy the new regulations.
Therefore, recommendations – as outlined in the original/existing EPC – must be carried out before a new EPC is completed. Helpfully, the existing EPC tells you what you can do and how the rating will be affected.
Example improvements on an EPC:
Note that a property owner may already have carried out some of these works. For example, many properties are bought needing work and then refurbished, without bothering to get a new EPC.
Renewing an EPC
Once the property owner is satisfied that a property is suitably energy efficient, Homebuild can provide a new EPC – for any sized property – at a cost of £75.00 (no VAT). Just click on the ‘Order now‘ link below. This is a discounted price, as we now have an accredited ‘Domestic Energy Assessor’ in-house, so we can keep the costs down.
This new EPC will last for 10 years.