The importance of having an Energy Performance Certificate

When someone wants to sell or rent their property, they must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The seller must provide an EPC for potential buyers and tenants before the property is marketed to sell or rent.

An EPC contains information about the energy use and typical energy cost together with recommendations as to how to reduce energy use and save money. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from (A) being the most efficient to (G) being the least efficient. An EPC, once obtained, is valid for 10 years.

Some properties do not require an EPC (for example a listed building). However, the vast majority of properties do require the seller to provide an EPC, which is a legal requirement.

Landlords should remember that since 1 April 2018 it is illegal for a landlord to let residential or commercial properties with an EPC rating of (F) or (G). These rules also apply to tenants of existing properties. If permitted under the terms of their lease, a tenant may choose to sublet surplus space to a sub tenant. The requirement to have an EPC will also apply in this case.

Local authorities are permitted to issue compliance notices and penalty notices if the EPC regulations are breached. The penalties awarded would reflect the extent of the infringement and the length of time of non-compliance; with fines ranging from £2,000-£150,000.

If the energy performance rating is (F) or (G) a landlord will have to carry out appropriate work to bring the property up to a higher efficiency standard.

Property sellers are reminded that they should provide an EPC. But of equal importance is the fact that the buyer should not proceed without an EPC. If a buyer only discovers after a property purchase that the property is unlettable, for example, they have no recourse against the seller. The relevant regulations do not impose a sanction in this situation.

It is important for a buyer and a tenant to ensure that an EPC is available on both the purchase and rental of a property.

To discuss this or any other property related matter contact us.