What is an EPC and do landlords need to obtain one?

An EPC may sound complex with the amount of inconsistent information you can find over the internet, but Squarefoot Apartments would encourage you not to trust anything unless it was written by a property expert or someone who really knows what they are talking about.

24th October 2019

You may not think it but when letting a property there are so many things to think about. Deposit protection Schemes, letting contracts, tenant referencing, how to rent guides and EPC certificates.

An EPC may sound complex with the amount of inconsistent information you can find over the internet, but Squarefoot Apartments would encourage you not to trust anything unless it was written by a property expert or someone who really knows what they are talking about.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) measures the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A-G. Not having an appropriate energy performance certificate when you need it can have you incur serious penalties.

To help you, we’ve compiled this easy guide to EPC certificates.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

An energy performance certificate is a legal requirement for any building you are looking to sell, let or construct.

If someone is looking to buy or rent your property it is your responsibility as the owner to ensure that the EPC document is shown to anyone interested.

If you do not have an EPC you will need an experienced energy assessor to complete your assessment and record your data, which they can do either on site or at home.

You can retrieve the results of your EPC which will be stored on the central register here

Is it compulsory to have an EPC?

In 2018, Minimum Energy Standard were introduced making it a legal requirement for all privately owned properties to have an EPC rating of at least E before being sold or let.

The legal requirement of an EPC applies to both domestic and commercial properties and is the owner’s responsibility.

What most property owners are not aware of is the fines that can be allocated if you try to let or sell a domestic or commercial property without an EPC.

If you try to let or sell a commercial property and you do not have an EPC certificate you can be fined up to £150,000. For domestic properties, fines can be as high as £5,000.

What is the point of an EPC assessment?

An EPC assessment rates your property based on its ability to save energy. A property graded A will be well-insulated and probably all modern. Properties graded G, are likely to be older and very draughty.

A property with an EPC grade G, will most likely need more money spending on heating and powering the property than it would need if the property was had an EPC graded A. When you receive your EPC certificate it will specify the average costs required to heat and power a home with its existing grade.

Finally, EPC certificates break down the energy saving performance of individual aspects of your building, such as the walls, the roof, the floors and windows. This will give you a worthy idea of how you can improve the EPC rating of your property. A good EPC grade is going to be eye-catching to potential buyers or letters, so take this advice seriously.

If you are looking to put a property on the market it is always good to know that EPC certificates help renters and buyers make well-versed decisions.

What happens during an EPC assessment?

When you request an energy accessor they will need access to all the rooms in your property, including your loft and basement. The accessor will go around the property and examine your heating systems and controls. If you allocate a professional energy accessor they will be able to access your property based on what they see visually.

How long do Energy Performance Certificates last?

Once the accessor has completed the EPC the certificate will be valid for 10 years. You can use this EPC and present it to potential buyers or renters until it runs out, but you must have it available before you put your property on the market.

What if I don’t get an EPC?

If you fail to present an EPC to a buyer or renter you can be fined. The fine for not having an EPC is 12.5% of the relatable value of the building, with a fixed penalty of £750, 00 when a value cannot be applied.

Are there any exceptions?

As a rule, you won’t need an EPC if you’re a resident landlord and you’re renting out a room. Listed buildings are also often exempted because they can’t have improvements that cause structural changes but would improve the energy efficiency of the property by adding double glazing.

When don’t I need an EPC?:

  • The building is being used as a place of worship.
  • The building is being used temporary and will be used for less than two years.
  • The building is stand-alone with floor space less than 50 Square meters.
  • You own an industrial site, workshop or non-residential agriculture building that doesn’t use a lot of energy.
  • Some of the building on your site is due to be demolished.
  • The buildings are being used as holiday accommodation and are used for less than 4 months a year or under a license to occupy.
  • Your building is residential and is intended to be used than 4 months a year.

Where can I find a copy of the EPC for my property?

If you’re in England and wales, you’ll find it here.

Can I speak to someone regarding my EPC?

If you are unsure if you need an EPC, Squarefoot Apartments are here to help you. Call our office on 01274 392 971 and speak to a member of our team for professional advice about Energy Performance Certificates.

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