Landlords will need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Landlords who market an investment property for letting now risk a £200 fine from the Local Trading Standards Officer if they do not have a Energy Performance Certificate in place on the rental property.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
An EPC or Energy Performance Certificate is broadly similar to the labels provided with domestic appliances such as fridges and washing machines. They provide a rating of how energy efficient a building is by giving it a rating between A & G, where A is very inefficient. The idea being that tenants can use them to make informed decisions on which property to rent based partly on their likely fuel efficiency.
When do landlords need one?
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC )and recommendation report must be made available free of charge by the landlord to any prospective tenant at the earliest opportunity. The government defines these “opportunities" as being when
" any written information about the building is provided in response to a request for information received from the prospective tenant"
"when a viewing is conducted"
If neither of the above takes place then the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) must be produced before the letting contract is signed.
Where do landlords get an Energy Performance Certificate?
EPCs are available from one of the approximately 7000 qualified domestic energy assessors (DEA's) that have been recruited to handle the work.
How much should a Energy Performance Certificate cost?
The government estimate that they should cost around £100.
If a landlord searches the Internet they will be quoted prices over and under £100. Some of the low cost EPC on further inspection are not quite as attractive as they first appear. Many headline rates exclude VAT which will immediately put an extra 17.5% onto the cost. Others offer variable rates for different sized properties. Needless to say the low price only applies to 1 bed properties for example.
The good news for landlords
The good news for landlords is that once done the EPC lasts for 10 years.
Chris Horne is an experienced landlord and property professional who now runs the website Property Hawk, a site aimed directly at UK Landlords. The site incorporates free property management software that enables landlords to track all their financial data relating to their portfolio. It allows users to print tenancy agreements and other forms FREE FOREVER. The site generates a real time rent book for each property as well as calculating a landlords tax liabilty. The service is totally free to use at propertyhawk.co.uk