Why Landlords need an Energy Performance Certificate
When you become a landlord, you quickly realise that there are numerous certificates you need to have. One of the many items you’ll need is an Energy Performance Certificate. Now, if you’re unsure as to what one of these is – and why you need one – then this guide will explain everything for you.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
This certificate will give your property something called a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating, which is provided from A to G. A is the best, meaning your property is highly efficient, and G is obviously the worst. In essence, an Energy Performance Certificate shows any potential tenants how energy efficient your property is, so they can decide whether or not it’s worth renting it.
Why do landlords need an Energy Performance Certificate?
There are various reasons that you need an Energy Performance Certificate, but the main one is that it’s the law. The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations came into play back in October 2008. It basically made it illegal for any landlord to not obtain one of these certificates. Since then, multiple changes have been made to the regulations, and there was a new legislation put in place in 2013 that simplified matters for landlords.
So, you need an Energy Performance Certificate to abide by these regulations, and also to inform everyone of the energy efficiency of your property. What’s more, you need one to prove that your property has a minimum rating of E. This is a recent rule that’s only been in place since April 2018 – if you don’t have an energy efficiency rating of E or above, then you will be breaking the law and could be fined.
Furthermore, you need an EPC as it ensures you comply with the latest Section 21 rules for landlords. If you want to end a tenancy, then you can serve a Section 21 notice to your tenants. However, you can’t do this if you failed to show your tenants a valid Energy Performance Certificate before they moved in.
Alongside this, it’s also become a necessity when advertising your property as well. Landlords must show an EPC within a week of advertising their property to the general public. This is typically displayed in the property descriptions in an online listing, or it should be on the visual advert in an estate agents window. If you don’t do this, then you could have the Trading Standards coming back to bite you.
Where do you get an Energy Performance Certificate and how long do they last?
You can get an Energy Performance Certificate from numerous suppliers in the UK. But, you need to ensure that they’re an accredited energy surveyor. They can be ordered online, and you’ll receive the certificate once a full-scale energy assessment has been carried out. Costs will vary depending on the supplier and where your property is located, so it’s recommended you browse for the best deals.
Once you’ve received your EPC, it will last for 10 years unless you totally renovate your property and make severe alterations to it. If you wish, you can get another Energy Performance Certificate if you’ve made small improvements to your property and think the rating will go up.
What happens if you don’t have an Energy Performance Certificate?
EPC penalties can be handed out by the Trading Standards if you don’t show your Energy Performance Certificate to prospective tenants. There are no criminal charges, but you can be hit with a penalty charge of £200 for every time you fail to provide this certificate. So, if you advertise your property on multiple websites and with various agents, you could rack up a pretty substantial fine.
Furthermore, you will be hit with a penalty of up to £4,000 if you don’t have an EPC with the minimum energy rating of E.
In summary; landlords need an Energy Performance Certificate as it’s part of the UK legislation for all buildings. These certificates are used to show people how energy efficient a property is, which can be a significant factor in influencing whether or not someone wishes to rent it.
To add to this, landlords need an EPC to prove their property has an energy rating of E or above – or else they’ll be given a fine in the thousands of pounds region. It’s also an essential requirement of the latest Section 21 rules, meaning you can’t serve one of these notices without a valid EPC.
What’s more, if you own numerous flats within a building, then you need an EPC for each flat you own.
Fail to comply with all of this and you will be given a few hefty penalty fines and will be forced to improve the energy rating of your property if it doesn’t meet the minimum standard.