24th February 2018
The government is trying to make the carbon emissions for all buildings to be close to zero by the year 2050. In the long term, properties will have to take their energy efficiency rating up to A. As far as their short term goals go, if you’re renting or selling a property there is a good chance you fall under its ruling. From 1st April 2018, all buildings will need to have an EPC rating of at least E. Ratings below E will not be sold or rented, unless you fall into one of the exemptions.
What you need to know
An energy performance certificate (EPC) is a document you must legally have, setting out the energy efficiency of your property. It comes in ratings of A to G. It gives an indication both for you as a landlord and any potential tenants or buyers. You have to provide this free of charge to the tenant on advertisements for the property as clearly as possible. If your property is currently rated below E, you will have to make changes and have it recertified to ensure it meets the required standards. If you don’t, things can get pricey. Penalties range up to £5,000, and will depend on the severity of the breach.
- Providing false or misleading information to the PRS Exemptions Register – £1,000
- Failing to comply with a compliance notice from your local authority – £2,000
- Renting out a non-compliant property for less than three months – £4,000
- Renting out a non-compliant property for more than three months – £5,000
Anytime you’re in contravention, the notice will be published, so this is something which could not only hit your pocket but harm your reputation as a landlord. The trouble is, while many landlords are becoming aware of the new rules, not everyone is certain about what they must do to comply.
The first thing to do is to act quickly. You should order an EPC inspection before your property goes to market, and then have it available within seven days of it going up. There is a grace period of 21 days, but beyond that you absolutely have to have one, or face a fine.
Once issued, it goes onto a database and is valid for 10 years. However, you might decide you want to have it redone. For example, if you have made any changes to the property and think it deserves a higher rating, this can become a selling point. It’s worth looking at this as an issue of more than just compliance.
We will cover further areas next week, when we look at tips on how we can improve your rating!