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Apr 6, 2018
C, D or E? What EPC does your property score?
Tags: property legislation , property compliance , housing news
Questions?

In terms of the EPC scale, new legislation has recently been announced in the private rental sector.

From today (April 1st 2016), all tenants in the private rental sector will have the right to request energy efficiency improvements to their properties. This regulation will apply to longer term assured and regulated tenancies. Should the tenant request improvements the landlord is expected by law to upgrade the property to at least an E rating. This will only apply if there are no upfront costs (this is expected to change at a later date).

Starting from April 2018, it will be illegal for letting agents and landlords to let out a property classed as F or G on the EPC scale. All new and renewed tenancies must meet these changes. By April 2020, all properties to let must meet a minimum of E on the scale, this will apply to all existing tenancies. The target is set to raise the legal requirement to D by 2025 and C by 2030. If a property is found to have breached these regulations, the agent or landlord is at risk of a £4,000 civil penalty. If a property cannot achieve these ratings by the time stated, it will be banned and made illegal. Below we’ve outlined everything a property professional can do to ensure they meet these changes before April 1st 2018.        

What is an EPC?

An EPC is a legal requirement for letting agents, estate agents and landlords selling, renting or building a property and must be conducted before the property is put on the market. The EPC will contain information about the property’s energy use and consumption costs as well as recommendations of how to save energy and the tenant’s money. The EPC is valid for 10 years at a time on each individual property and if an EPC is not conducted you’re at risk of being fined.    

An EPC must be carried out by an accredited assessor. An assessor can be found using a useful tool provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government which can be accessed here.

Why's an EPC important?

EPC’s are important as they will give the tenant/owner a prospective idea of how the property performs when it comes to the consumption of energy. It will also make the tenant/owner aware of how much the property is likely to cost and how environmentally friendly it is. In order to reduce a high EPC rating of a property, advice will be given in the EPC certification. We acknowledge that managing your EPC's across a wide portfolio of properties can be difficult, that's why we recommend using a form of letting and management software.

As well as the advice in the EPC certification, we recommend agents and landlords consider these useful tips to reduce their properties energy consumption.

Insulation

Insulation is a key feature when it comes to preserving energy in the home. By installing loft and cavity wall installations, the Energy Saving Trust predicts homes will save £310 a year on energy bills. Property professionals should consider this when it comes to letting their properties, especially if your home has a high EPC rating.

Efficient and cost effective heating system

Another way to save energy is by installing an efficient and cost effective heating system to help reduce your tenant’s costs and preserve energy. These can be expensive but may prove an important factor when it comes to making your property legal against its EPC certification. 

Renewables

By installing a number of renewables, such as solar panels, wind turbines or hydroelectricity your properties energy rating is likely to be low. This will not just help you, it will help your tenants and may lead them to renting your property for a longer period due to the energy cost being significantly cheaper.

For more information on conducting an EPC and meeting the legal requirements please click here

The Residential Lanslords Association's guide may also provide you with some useful infromation.

Find out more about VTUK's property software, call us 0800 328 0460, email us info@vtuk.com or visit us www.vtuk.com/products.