It is a requirement that all residential buildings in the UK, that are available to buy or rent, have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). An EPC provides your property with an energy efficiency rating between A and G. It also sets out the properties potential rating if recommended improvements are made.
You must acquire an EPC for potential tenants before marketing the property. If you are currently advertising a property without an EPC or have not made one available for a new / recent tenancy (within six months of the start date), then you can be served a seven day notice to obtain an EPC. If landlords do not meet this notice then they can be issued with a £200 fixed penalty:
- Costs for getting an EPC start from around £40-£50 for each certificate, depending upon the size of the property. They are valid for 10 years and can be re-used for new tenants within this period;
- From April 2016 as a private landlord you will not be able to refuse any reasonable requests that tenants make for energy efficiency improvements;
- Planned changes to legislation, expected to start from April 2018, will mean that landlords will not be able to let a property with an EPC banding lower than an ‘E’ unless the landlord can prove that they have done all they can to bring the property up to standard or if it is a listed property.
Only accredited Domestic Energy Assessors (DEA’s) are able to produce a valid EPC. To identify a qualified DEA to carry out an EPC in a property please see Energy Performance Certificate Register .
Benefits of increased energy efficiency
- Can improve the EPC rating of the property, which will help you prepare your property for the incoming legislation in 2018;
- Energy efficiency measures can increase the value and desirability of your property, therefore reducing void periods;
- Warmer homes and cheaper energy bills will result in happier tenants with more disposable income making rent arrears less likely;
- Reduced maintenance bills as the likelihood of mould, damp, condensation and freezing pipes are all reduced.
It should be noted that if you intend to make certain energy efficiency improvements to a property that is listed or in an area of conservation you should first contact Planning Services to ensure that they are permitted.
Private landlords can receive financial support too...
Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
ECO for the big six energy suppliers provides financial support to help vulnerable householders install insulation and heating systems. ECO is available to tenants in private rented properties as well as owner occupiers, therefore your rented properties could benefit from this funding. The criteria for this support depends upon your tenants circumstances, and the location and construction of your property, for more information please see EST Energy Company Obligation or contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.
If your tenant qualifies for some ECO funding then the contractor, that has been appointed to carry out the work and obtain the funding, will be in contact with you to gain permission from you as the landlord. They may also discuss any shortfall in funding and options for how this could be financed.
Calderdale Council is committed to helping landlords ensure that their properties will meet the expected standards by the impending legislation date. If you would like any support or advice on any of these issues please do not hesitate to contact: