Everyone loves a birthday and there’s a big one to celebrating on Tuesday 1st August -the 10th anniversary of the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates!
Introduced as part of the doomed Home Information Pack back in 2007, EPCs survived where HIPS failed, and have withstood the test of time. It is a legal requirement to provide one to your tenant - alongside a How to Rent booklet and gas safety certificate - when you are let a property, and failure to do so can leave you unable to serve a Section 21 notice if you ever have to.
So, EPCs certainly can have an impact on your landlord life. However, their birthday this isn’t just an excuse to toast the day with a cuppa and slice of cake, it’s a serious date for your diary. EPC’s have a shelf life of ten years, and this date marks the expiry of many of the very first certificates produced.
It’s understandable that many of us forget about out EPC’s until it is time to issue them with a new tenancy, however with upcoming changes throwing the spotlight on these vital pieces of paperwork, it might be time to delved a little deeper into your property’s certification, to avoid a hefty bill.
If your EPC is 10 years old, there’s a good chance that the details taken all that time ago are not still current, and the rating that your property has been given may not be correct any more. This is a real concern at the moment as from April 2018, all new tenancies in England and Wales must have a minimum EPC rating of E – if your property has a rating of F or G you will not legally be allowed to start a new tenancy agreement, and flouting these rules could land you with a £5,000 fine. By 2020, these rules will apply to all existing tenancies.
If your property was rated band E eight or nine years ago, you might be relaxed about these regulations, thinking that you have nothing to worry about. However, it is possible that if your property was reassessed, it may could risk it falling below the acceptable banding, which would make your property impossible to let and could land you with a hefty fine.
Of course, this works the other way too – if you have had upgrades carried out on your property which could potentially help with the rating, you may want to reapply to see if you can boost your figures a little!
I’m not sure what my EPC rating is, is there an easy way to find out?
You can investigate your property’s EPC on the EPC register, a free service which hosts all of the documents for property’s in England and Wales: https://www.epcregister.com/
If your property is in Scotland, the service is available here: https://www.scottishepcregister.org.uk/
I can’t find my EPC online!
Don’t panic if you can’t find it, there might be a very god reason for that! There are certain properties which are exempt from the requirements, and as an owner or landlord you will not be required to supply an EPC. These include:
- If you are not planning to sell or rent your property
- If you are selling your property but you have reasonable grounds to believe the buyer is planning to demolish it on completion of purchase.
- Buildings that are used as a place of worship
- Stand-alone buildings of less than 50m2
- Industrial sites, workshops, and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand
- Temporary buildings with a planned time of two years or less
- Non-residential agricultural buildings which are used in a sector covered by a national sectoral agreement on energy performance.
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