Is an EPC required for all rental properties?
Yes. All new lettings of buildings as defined in the legislation on or after 1st October 2008 will require an EPC. Furthermore, it must be available to prospective tenants and a copy must be given to the actual tenant free of charge.
One is not required when an existing lease is renewed to the existing tenant. However, where the existing ‘tenant’ is a group of sharers, if one of the sharers changes then it will be deemed a new letting and the new group would require a copy.
The EPC should be available as early as possible in the letting process is so that applicants who are interested enough to make an offer can do so with better knowledge about the property, rather than finding out key details after an offer has been made.
Production of EPC’s
They must be produced by a qualified person who is registered with an accreditation scheme. The scheme ensures that the person is competent and carries out periodic auditing of their work.
The certificate is produced using a variety of information about:
- The age and dimensions of the property
- The materials from which it is built
- Whether it has single or double glazed windows
- The type of heating and hot water systems
- The type of lighting
The information is inputted to a software programme that produces both the certificate and a list of recommendations for improving the energy efficiency of the property. The EPC has 2 sets of graphs
Validity of EPC’s
EPCs provided by landlords will be valid for 10 years. Because of this they can be used over and over again as new tenants are signed up. If the investment property is sold, the rules regarding sales are the same, and the existing EPC can be used if not more than 10 years old.
What happens if I don’t have an EPC for tenancies starting after 1st October 2008?
Due to the legislation, this is a criminal offence policed by Trading Standards Officers. The fine is £200 per let and per incident.
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