Energy Performance Certificates
What's all the fuss about EPCs?The full EPC must be made available for any home, free of charge, to a prospective tenant from the 1st October 2008, at the earliest opportunity and in any event where any of the following events happen:
- when the home is viewed (even if that means providing the EPC before any written information or particulars are provided)
- when a tenant signs a contract to rent the home.
What is it?The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) gives tenants information on the energy efficiency of the property — a bit like the ratings on fridges and washing machines. It gives the property a standard energy and carbon emission efficiency grade from A-G with A being the best and the average D or E.
Must I have one?As a landlord you will need to provide an EPC to any prospective tenant who requests the information or views the property.
How long are they valid?EPCs are valid for ten years from the date of issue. However, if you improve the property by adding double-glazing, gas central heating, loft insulation etc then a new one will be needed to show the improvements.
Who can issue them?An accredited Domestic Energy Assessor can only produce them after a survey of the property including its size, construction, hot water & heating systems. This information is then used to produce the EPC.
How much will they cost?We have negotiated a discount and are able to arrange EPCs through our contractors at preferential rates. Our charges are based on the size of the property, as follows:
| 5 or more beds
Do I have to have the EPC before you will advertise my property?No, but it must be on order. The legislation is quite specific that the EPC must be shown to any prospective tenants at, or before, the viewing.
What is in the EPC?The EPC comes in two parts. An example of the first part, which will appear on our advertising, is shown below:
The second part gives more details on the property together with recommendations on how to improve the rating. Since it also shows the address it will, for obvious reasons, only be shown to tenants at the actual viewing.
Are there any circumstances when I do not need to provide a certificate?Yes — but only if you can prove that the potential tenant was not serious about renting the property or that you would not have accepted them as a tenant. Be extremely wary of potential claims for discrimination if you use this defence.
Will you advertise my property without an EPC?Only initially. We can list your property on our website as long as an EPC has been ordered, but we must have an EPC before we can perform viewings. BRPL act as your agent, and must include the main findings of the EPC as part of marketing. We adhere to various codes of practice in order that we do not fall foul of the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 and other relevant Acts of Parliament. If we don't include the EPC in marketing (including details shown on websites and property portals) we could be seen as not complying with the law. We could be reported to the Local Trading Standards and also the Office of Fair Trading. Penalties include fines of up to £5000 and we could lose the right to operate. As the Landlord responsible for the property, you would also face financial penalties.
When should I start thinking about getting one?The simple answer is as early as possible. As soon as you decide to rent your property, or as soon as your current tenants give notice, you should consider ordering an EPC. If you don't, you could find that you will have a void period because the property cannot be advertised without one.
What are the penalties if I do not have an EPC?The penalty for failing to make an EPC available is fixed, in most cases at 12.5% of the rateable value of the building with a default penalty of £750 if the formula cannot be applied. The range of penalties under this formula is set with a minimum of £500 and capped at a maximum of £5000.
What does the EPC contractor look for?The EPC contractor will be looking at the construction of the property, levels of insulation, how the property is heated, energy efficient lightbulbs, hot water supply etc. The inspection is not invasive - he won't be lifting floorboards or anything like that - so for some things standard assumptions may be applied based on the age and type of property. However, if your property has a loft, the contractor will usually need access to it, to check insulation and the condition of the roof.
How do I order an EPC?Use the order form below. Once you have sent us the order details, we'll be in touch to arrange for the EPC contractor to visit the property as soon as possible, and to arrange payment. Alternatively you can call either Cheryll or myself and we can email you an order form; Cheryll will also have the relevant forms with her when she attends valuations.
Instruction to arrange an EPCPlease complete the form below after reading carefully our Terms and Conditions below. Click on the Order EPC button at the bottom of the page ONLY if you agree to those terms & conditions.
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