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EPCs & Rental Properties

Wednesday, 3rd June 2009

Categories: Lettings

Author: Peter Barry

Since October last year landlords of self contained rental properties have been required to supply incoming tenants with a copy of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

An EPC is required as soon as a property is marketed for rent; either privately or through a letting agent and ignoring the regulations could turn out to be expensive as there is a £200 fixed penalty fine for each breach.

The certificate gives details of how energy efficient a property is on a scale of A - G along with recommendations on how to improve the rating. The Landlord is not obliged to implement any of the recommendations although as a copy of the certificate is given to the tenant they may come under pressure. A tenant negotiating a renewal may well look to bring improvements, such as the addition of loft insulation, into the negotiations after a year of seeing their heat dissapear through the roof.

Once an EPC has been carried out by a qualified assessor it will remain valid for 10 years although a Landlord does have the option to update the certificate if they belive the have increased their property’s energy efficiency and would like the rating to reflect that improvement.

There are a few exemptions to the regulations - properties which have been continually let to the same tenant since the regulations came in to force remain exempt; even if the tenancy agreement has been renewed. Only when there is a change of tenant will a certificate be required.

Houses in Multiple Occupation are totally exempt although where an entire property is to be let under s ingle tenancy agreemnt one EPC will be required for the whole dwelling. Finally, if you choose to let a room within your own house a certificate will not be required.

For more on EPCs for rental properties see this comprehensive guide.