If you are renting out a property, you will need an Energy Performance Certificate. This shows how much your rental property will cost to heat and light as well as what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.
Landlords must meet a minimum EPC rating of E or above to legally rent out their properties.
In this guide to EPC’s for landlords, we explain what they are, your obligations and how you could improve your rating.
What is an energy performance certificate?
An energy performance certificate shows how energy efficient a property is. Prospective tenants can view this information and compare the relative running costs and environmental impact of rental properties.
You will need to appoint an accredited assessor to carry out the EPC inspection. They will give your property an energy efficiency score as well as a score for CO2 emissions. The scores are divided into bands from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
Your EPC will have two charts which display the Energy Efficiency Rating (running costs) and the Environmental Impact Rating (CO2 emissions). You will be able to see your current rating alongside the potential rating you could achieve by making the recommended improvements.
Any recommendations are tailored to the specific property, taking into consideration its location, age and condition.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Legislation
In April 2018, regulation came into force setting out minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for private rented property. These regulations made it unlawful for landlords to grant a new lease for properties that have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E.
In April 2020 the MEES legislation was extended to include any property which has an existing or continuing tenancy. This means that all landlords of privately rented properties in England and Wales must achieve at least an EPC rating of E before they can let, or continue to let, their properties.
If your properties rating is F or G, you need to take action immediately to improve the property’s rating to E (or higher). Your EPC report will include a list of recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your property.
You will never be expected to spend more than £3,500 (including VAT) on energy efficiency improvements. If you cannot improve your property’s EPC to E for £3,500 or less, you should make all the improvements that can be made up to that amount and then register an ‘all improvements made’ exception. The Gov.uk website explains your funding options, including third-party funding you could access, as well as how to apply for an exception.
What are the penalties for not having a valid EPC?
Don’t put off getting a valid EPC certificate or making the necessary improvements to your property. Failure to produce a valid EPC when requested can result in a fine of £200 per property. Landlords can face a penalty of up to £5,000 for not meeting the minimum rating of E.
When do I need an EPC?
An EPC needs to be available to prospective tenants as soon as you begin marketing the property to rent. Landlords should make sure that the marketing advertising your property for rent includes the building’s EPC rating.
Legislation requires that you provide your tenants with a valid EPC at the beginning of the new tenancy. Failure to do this will prevent landlords serving a section 21 notice to evict their tenants.
How do I get an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate must be produced by an accredited energy surveyor. Your estate and letting agent will be able to arrange one for you or just Google “Energy Performance Certificates provider [insert area]”.
It takes less than an hour to carry out an internal and external inspection of most domestic properties. During the survey, the energy assessor will evaluate the following aspects of your property:
- Exterior walls
- Roof insulation
- Open fireplaces
- Heating system
- Heating controls
- Hot water cylinder insulation
- Ventilation system
- Conservatory and extensions
You will need to make sure the surveyor can access all the rooms in your property, including the loft.
How much does a EPC cost?
EPCs cost between £60 and £120, so it’s worth getting several quotes before getting an assessor to carry out a survey.
How long is an EPC valid for?
An EPC is valid for 10 years. Once it has expired, you will need to apply for a new EPC if you want to continue renting the property out.
If you have carried out renovation work on the property which you think may have improved its energy efficiency, then you may choose to get a new certificate.
Which properties do not require an EPC?
Under UK law all private rental properties are required to have an EPC certificate. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule:
- Listed buildings
- Residential buildings used less than 4 months each year
- Buildings scheduled for demolition
- Buildings intended to be used for less than 2 years
- Stand-alone buildings with less than 50 square metres of useful floor space
How do I get a copy of an EPC?
For properties in England and Wales, you can retrieve your property’s energy performance certificate the government’s online database.
There are separate registers for properties in Scotland and Northern Ireland:
How can I improve my EPC rating?
The good news for Wimbledon landlords is that most properties in the area do not require any improvement to achieve an EPC rating of E.
Landlords who do make improvements to enhance their properties energy efficiency usually recoup many of the costs as the property will be more attractive to potential tenants, reducing the likelihood of void periods and enabling the property to command higher rents.
Improve your rating by making energy-efficient improvements, such as:
Fitting a new boiler – replacing your boiler with a modern energy-efficient model will have the biggest impact on your rating. You could also consider adding a renewable energy source, in the form of solar panels, biomass boilers and ground-source heat pumps.
Installing double or triple glazing – upgrading your windows and doors could improve your domestic energy rating and will also reduce noise pollution. Replacement windows and doors will enhance the aesthetics of your property and increase security. All selling points for potential tenants.
Upgrading roof insulation – a quarter of household heat is lost through the roof so upgrading your roof insulation is an easy way to improve the energy efficiency of your property.
Adding wall insulation – whether your home has cavity or solid walls, insulating them can improve your EPC rating.
Replacing lighting – using energy-efficient light bulbs is a cheap and easy way to improve your rating.
For an up to date valuation of the rental value of your property in Wimbledon, Southfields, Kingston Hill or Coombe Hill, contact Robert Holmes & Co today.