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Energy Performance Certificates

Any buildings you rent out require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which must be given by a qualified, accredited and independent assessor. Your EPC is then valid for ten years and can be used as many times as you like, just be aware if you get a new one after carrying out work on a property that you can only use the most recent one – however, any works are likely to improve the grade.

The energy efficiency of properties is ranked on a scale from A (very efficient) to G (not very efficient), and advice is given on how to improve efficiency if it is subpar. As long as your rating is an E or higher, whether you go through with the provided recommendations is entirely up to you, but an F or G rating will mean you are required to make enough improvements to bump your rating up to E or spend £3500 on appropriate changes to qualify for an exemption from the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.

It’s also important to keep in mind that EPC target grades will continue to reduce over the years as the government drives towards its target for the UK to be carbon-neutral by 2050. There are grants that are available to landlords and it is worth landlords future-proofing their properties. In addition to complying with energy efficiency regulation, tenants are starting to compare energy efficiencies when choosing what properties they might rent. So, the better the grade the better the rent and the quicker it will be to rent properties. It’s recommended that you aim for a D rating, as this will insure you stay ahead of the government raising their efficiency standards.

Want to make sure you handle everything relating to the EPC? Here’s a handy checklist to make sure you have everything covered:

Finally, if it’s not entirely clear which rented buildings require an EPC, a building is classed as either the whole of a building or part of the building that is designed or altered to be used separately – i.e., a unit that is self-contained and does not essential facilities with any other unit. If a dwelling is not self-contained and tenant share facilities, an EPC is not required UNLESS you are renting out the whole property on a joint tenancy, as this would be classified as self-contained.

Please be aware that if you do not provide an EPC in marketing while looking for tenants you may be fined £200, and without an EPC rated E or above, landlords can face civil and criminal penalties, with fines of up to £5,000 for those found in breach of the legislation.