An EPC is effectively an energy efficiency and environmental impact assessment for a property. The property is assessed by a Domestic Energy Assessor and is given a current rating from ‘A’ (very good) to ‘G’ (very poor). It is also given a potential rating, which is an indication of the impact that suggested improvements could make.
EPCs are valid for 10 years, so once you have an EPC you don’t need to worry about renewing on an annual basis. However, there are some circumstances where it may be beneficial to do so – for example, if you were to significantly improve the energy efficiency of your property. Also, as EPCs have been around in some cases since 2006, you should double check the date of your EPC as you may need to commission a new one the next time your property is advertised.
EPCs are required when a property is put on to the market and should be made available (free of charge) to any applicants who are interested in viewing the property – or to anyone who requests to see the EPC. The legislation requires an EPC to be available 7 days after the property is advertised, with a maximum of 28 days given to obtain one. If an EPC is not available after 7 days, you should be able to produce evidence that one has been ordered. Failure to produce an EPC can result in a fine of £200. If you do not have one 28 days after marketing commenced, the property should be withdrawn until the EPC is available.
Why do I need an EPC?
EPCs are required so that any interested parties are able to make an informed decision about the likely running costs of a property before they commit to renting it. This can work in your favour if your property is the same price as another one – but the running costs are lower due to greater energy efficiency – this is one of the reasons to update your EPC if you have had improvement work done.
EPCs are also one of the benchmarks used by the government to assess and control the quality of rental housing stock.
Which properties are exempt from EPC regulations?
There are some exemptions from EPC regulations, currently these include:
- Tenancies beginning before 1st October 2008
- Listed buildings
If you have any questions about EPCs, please get in touch and we will be happy to help.