I'm told I need an EPC to let my property, but I thought my property was exempt... what's the deal?

Question

I'm told I need an EPC to let my property, but I thought my property was exempt... what's the deal?

Answer

Under the new Section 21 legislation that came into force on October 1st, an energy performance certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement for any landlord to provide at the start of any lease in the UK. Without this, a Gas Safety Report, and a copy of ‘How to Rent: The checklist for renting in England’, your tenancy agreement will not be legally binding.

As a general rule, your estate agent will request an EPC when they register your property, and will be able to arrange for it to be produced for you. The document will last for 10 years, and can be used multiple times.

However, 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.

My building is split into flats, they don’t all need a separate EPC, do they?

If you own a whole building, which has been divided into separate units where each unit can only be marketed and sold as individual units (a house developed into flats for example), each individual property has to have its own EPC. The critical factor is whether or not each unit has a separate or shared heating system.

If the property is split into units which have their own heating supply an EPC must be supplied for each unit based on the unit’s usage. However, provided the units are identical, this may be based on the assessment of a representative unit in the same block.

Any units with a common heating system, an EPC must be produced for each unit within the building, but it may be based on a common certificate of the entire building as a whole.

I have a multi-occupancy property – what on Earth do I do with that?

If you own a property that has been split into multiple occupancy dwellings, such as bedsits, whether you need a separate EPC per dwelling or not will depend on the type of tenancy that has been granted.

If you have a joint tenancy, which holds all of the tenants on one agreement, then this is legally no different to letting a property to a family or group of friends, so you would only need to provide one EPC for the whole dwelling.

Where individual rooms in a building are rented out on separate tenancies, and the tenants share facilities (kitchen/bathroom etc) an EPC is not required. An EPC is only required for a dwelling that is self-contained, meaning that it does not share essential facilities such as a bathroom/shower room, WC or kitchen with any other dwelling, and that it has its own entrance.

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