October 1st Marks E.P.C. Deadline

Landlords must show new tenants their Energy Performance Rating or pay a £200 fine

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All landlords must now give new tenants a certificate showing the energy efficiency of their rented property. Buildings up for rent must be examined and given an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) detailing their efficiency on a scale from A to G. The rating, similar to that on home appliances, is intended to allow potential tenants to consider energy efficiency and fuel costs.

A £200 repeatable fine can be levied per property on landlords who refuse. The new scheme, which comes into force from 1 October, will check insulation, double-glazing and the performance of the boiler and appliances.

The EPC and a recommendation report must be made available when:
• Written information about the building is provided in response to a request for information from the prospective tenant
• When a viewing is conducted
• If neither of those occur, before the landlord enters into a contract to let their property.
An EPC does not have to be made available when:
• The landlord believes the prospective tenant is unlikely to have sufficient funds to rent the property
• The landlord does not believe the prospective tenant is genuinely interested in renting that type of property
• The landlord is unlikely to be prepared to rent out the property to the prospective or tenant.
An EPC is valid for 10 years and must be produced by an accredited energy assessor and can be reused as many times as required within that period. Landlords are required to give a copy of the latest EPC to each new tenant.

Benefits to both parties

The majority of landlords intend to wait until their existing tenant leaves before acting but this could lead to unexpected voids as rental properties cannot be marketed without an EPC. It’s also critical to use an accredited assessor.

There is a silver lining. An EPC could offer landlords an advantage over their competitors with less energy efficient properties, as their homes will have tangible benefits, greener credentials and cheaper fuel bills. Getting a good rating with low running costs will make your property stand out to credit-crunched tenants.

For more information contact Christian Harper at Oliver Finn

October 1, 2008