What is an EPC and do I need one?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provides information on the efficiency of a property. It also lists recommendations and suggestions on how to improve the efficiency of a property and to make it as efficient as possible. EPCs are needed when a property is built, sold or rented. The EPC Regulations state that it is the responsibility of the property owner to provide an EPC to potential buyers and tenants before they market the property.
An EPC will provide a rating reflecting the energy efficiency of the property from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). The certificate will be valid for 10 years from the date of issue.
When is an EPC not required?
There are some types of buildings that do not require an EPC. A few of these are listed as follows: -
- Temporary buildings that are used for less than 2 years
- Buildings due to be demolished
- Places of worship or for religious activities
- Stand-alone buildings with total useful floor space of less than 50 square metres
- Houses in Multiple Occupation which have not been subject to a sale or let as a single rental in the past ten years
- Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy
Changes to the Legal Requirement in April 2018
Since April 2018, it has now become a legal requirement that Landlords of privately rented domestic and non domestic properties in England and Wales to ensure that the minimum level of energy efficiency of their property is a rating of band E before granting a new tenancy to new or existing tenants.
The changes to the EPC regulations have now made it illegal to let a residential property with an EPC rating of F or G. If the EPC has a rating below E, property owners will have to carry out works to improve the efficiency of the property and this will result in the rating going up. If the recommended works are not carried out, property owners will face heavy civil penalties.
The new requirements will soon apply to all private rented properties in England and Wales including properties where that has been no change in tenancy arrangements. It will apply from the 1st April 2020 for domestic properties and from the 1st April 2023 for non-domestic properties.
The local authority can decide to impose a financial penalty on the Landlord for non-compliance (renting out a non-compliant property) and they have the discretion to decide on the amount of the penalty. The maximum penalties are as follows: -
- Where the breach is for less than three months, the local authority can impose a financial penalty of up to £2,000.
- Where the breach is for more than three months, the local authority can impose a financial penalty of up to £4,000.