Energy Performance Certificates

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) have been introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings.
If you are selling or renting out a home, you now need a certificate by law. Since October 2008 EPCs have been required whenever a building is built, sold or rented out. The certificate provides 'A' to 'G' ratings for the building, with 'A' being the most energy efficient and 'G' being the least.
Rental- Since Oct 2008 a landlord needs to provide an Energy Performance Certificate, whenever a home in the social or private sector is rented out. The EPC and recommendation report must be made available free of charge by the landlord to prospective tenant. EPCs are valid for 10 years and can be reused as required.But if there are alterations to a property or change of boiler for example then a new EPC would be recommened.

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    Sale - Since May 21 2010 EPC required for the sale of a property, HIPs will no longer be required to market a property for sale.
However, importantly the EPC remains; and it is the duty of an estate agent to ensure an EPC has been ordered before marketing of the property begins.

The Government have specified the following new regulations:

  • a new duty on the seller to secure that an energy performance certificate (EPC) has been commissioned before marketing of the property commences where no such certificate is already available

  • an EPC has been commissioned when a Domestic Energy Assessor has been instructed to prepare the EPC and the EPC has either been paid for or has given a clear undertaking to pay for it

  • a new duty on the person acting on behalf of the seller to be satisfied that an EPC has been commissioned before commencing marketing

  • a new duty on both the seller and a person acting on their behalf to make reasonable efforts to secure an EPC within 28 days

  • all of the new duties carry fixed penalties where somebody fails in the duty conferred on them by the new regulations 

Are you concerned about the changes to energy efficiency regulations affecting domestic rental properties?

What are the MEES and regulations?

Under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and
Wales) Regulations 2015, from the 1st April 2018, it is unlawful
to let out domestic properties which have an Energy Performance
Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G.
The regulations were put into place to improve energy efficiency of privately rented homes and to meet UK targets of CO2 reduction under the Energy Act 2011.
Who does it affect and when?
From the 1st April 2018, the regulations will apply to landlords / property owners upon granting a lease to a new tenant, or lease renewals to an existing tenant.
In order to comply, all properties must meet MEES by undertaking permissible, appropriate and cost-effective improvements, unless exempt.
Properties which are let on tenancies of more than 99 years or less than 6 months, and some regulated tenancies such as housing associations will be excluded.
The regulations will apply to all privately rented properties within the scope of the regulations from the 1st April 2020.
Are there any exemptions?
Landlords may be exempt when:
• The property is excluded from having an EPC
• Improvements are not cost-effective, either within a 7 year payback or under the Green Deal
• It has been independently verified that improvements may decrease the value of a property by 5% or more
• Third party consent cannot be obtained, for example from planning authorities
Landlords can lodge exemptions on the PRS Exemptions Register from 2016.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for Privately Rented Domestic Properties
What are the penalties?
Fines of up to £5,000 can be enforced, depending on the type of infringement and the length of non-compliance. A tenant can
raise a case with the First-Tier Tribunal General
Regulatory Chamber if they feel a landlord is non-compliant.
Tenants’ rights
From the 1st April 2016, tenants have the right to request reasonable and cost-effective improvements to their properties, as long as there are no up-front costs to the landlord.

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