Unsure of what is meant by an EPC report?
We’ve put together a guide of everything you need to know about Energy Performance Certificates for rental properties, so that you know where you stand when it comes to energy efficiency.
Whether it’s your first-time renting, or you just want to brush up on your knowledge, we’ve got everything you need to know below. From EPC costs, definitions and reports, this is our guide to Energy Performance Certificates.
What is an EPC?
An EPC report lets you know how energy efficient a property is, and how expensive it will be to run in terms of gas and electricity. It’s similar to charts often seen on new fridges and other electrical appliances that tell you how cost-effective they are.
This information is of upmost importance when helping you to establish your monthly budget. Quite often it can simply be a matter of common sense – most people would expect an older, Victorian house to be less energy efficient than a newly built flat.
The EPC is produced by a domestic energy assessor (DEA) and it should be provided to you by your letting agent or landlord. If for whatever reason you don’t receive one, you can go online and find the certificate for your property (they’re valid for ten years). If a valid EPC report does not exist then it’s the landlord’s responsibility to appoint a DEA to have one prepared.
Why do you need an EPC?
When you sell a property, you must have an Energy Performance Certificate. This is to let prospective buyers know the energy performance of your house during marketing.
This also applies if you’re a landlord, as the same level of information must be provided to prospective tenants.
How much does an EPC cost?
It costs between £60 and £120 to prepare the report and file it on the EPC register, but once there, it will remain on it for 10 years.
How is an EPC calculated?
The assessor works out the energy performance of a property based on:
- What it is constructed from.
- The type of property it is.
- The type and age of boiler in the property.
- What insulation the property has.
- Whether it has double glazed windows.
- The heating system in place.
EPC and renting – the law
Having an up to date EPC has been a legal requirement for anyone constructing, selling or renting their property since 1st October 2008.
All landlords or letting agents must have a valid EPC for all their rental properties. Any landlord who doesn’t have an EPC is breaking the law, and they’re liable to be fined by Trading Standards.
EPC for the tenant
As the potential tenant for a property, did you know that it’s a legal entitlement for you to see the property’s EPC before you sign the tenancy agreement?
If you didn’t know this, because your landlord or letting agent didn’t tell you, you should request one as soon as possible. Have the recourse to refer the matter to Trading Standards, should you need to.
What are the benefits of an EPC for the tenant?
If the property you wish to rent has a low energy performance, this will impact the amount you have to spend on gas and/or electricity each month. You can use the EPC to negotiate a lower rent, as you could find a cheaper property to run elsewhere.
It’ll also help you work out your monthly budget before you commit to a property that is potentially too expensive to run.
The EPC will contain ways the owner can make the property more energy efficient. You can establish what kind of a landlord the owner is and whether they’ve implemented the suggestions or not.
Remember, if you’re paying too much in utilities, switching energy suppliers can help you save. A cheaper, greener deal is just a few clicks away!