Energy performance ratings - why take them seriously?

By Mary Latham

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Energy Performance Ratings – Landlords, Don’t Get Caught Out!

November 23, 2012 Mary Latham 2 Comments

This post was last updated on August 20th, 2021 at 10:20 am

From the 6th April 2012 a new style Energy Performance Certificate was introduced to give clearer information about measures that can be carried out to improve the energy performance rating of properties.

All properties being offered for rent after that date must have an EPC.

The reason that EPCs are becoming more important is that the UK has an obligation to reduce our carbon emissions by 2020 along with the rest of the world.  There is legislation in place to ensure that landlords play our part.

Note: This post is more than seven years old and may contain information that has since been updated.

Energy Performance Ratings and Efficiency

A tenant is entitled to ask the landlord to carry out the measures recommended on the EPC, if the rating is lower than E, (A being the highest rating) and the landlord has a legal obligation to do so.

As of 2018, it is unlawful to let a property which has an EPC rating below E.

Trading Standards Officers are monitoring advertising media and Letting Agents windows and they are imposing fines where there is no EPC on the property.

Energy Performance Ratings and Compliance

Landlords are legally responsible and need to comply with the ENERGY ACT 2011, which states:

  • An EPC assessment must be carried out on any property that is offered for let or sale.
  • This must be commissioned before you begin to market the property.
  • The EPC must be shown to every prospective tenant at the viewing to enable them to assess the cost of fuel that they will use if they take the property
  • A copy of the EPC must be given to each tenant at the start of the tenancy so that they have a permanent record to keep. We recommend that you get a signature on your copy to show that they have accepted receipt of it because a tenant could use the fact that no EPC was given if they want to end a tenancy early.
  • All properties need to meet a minimum E energy performance rating otherwise you will not be able to offer them for let.
  • It is recognised that there are some properties that will not reach an E rating and the Energy Assessor will note this on the EPC and a note of the highest possible rating will also appear.

Don’t lose out

As long as landlords comply with all the recommendations on the EPC it will be legal to let properties that cannot be brought up to the minimum standard.  The new rating will be noted on the revised EPC and a potential tenant will be therefore be aware that the property may be expensive to heat – this may have an impact on a your ability to let the property as more tenants become sensitive to fuel costs.

At the moment there are still a few free and low cost measures being offered to landlords and tenants, including insulation for single brick buildings, loft and cavity wall insulation and landlords should explore what is available to them before they are withdrawn when Green Deal replaces them.

A greener future

Green Deal is a scheme to help landlords to improve the energy performance rating of their properties at no upfront cost and details of Green Deal will begin to appear in the next few months

EPC’s carried out before 6th April 2012 will continue to be valid until their expiry date.

  • The new style EPC used from April 2012 will have:
  • a single energy efficiency graph on the front page;
  • significantly reduced text; clear signposting to the Green Deal;
  • indicating which recommendations could be funded through the Green Deal;
  • greater focus on potential financial savings;
  • recommended improvements nearer the front of the document;
  • text of less immediate interest moved to the back page.

Trading Standards Officers will require landlords to produce evidence showing that an EPC has been commissioned where we are marketing a property without one. If we cannot produce an EPC, we will not be allowed to continue to market a property. TS Officers are monitoring the media to ensure that the legislation is being met – please don’t get caught out.

If you do not currently hold an Energy Performance Certificate on your rental property, now would be the time to commission one. 

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About Mary Latham

Mary has been a landlord since 1972, letting all types of property to most client groups and carrying out much of her own refurbishment.

She was founder and Chair of the Association of Midlands Landlords where she ran a helpline for landlords for 9 years until AML joined The National Landlords Association in 2007 and she became the West Midlands Regional Representative for NLA.

Mary retired from NLA in summer 2018 but continues to deliver seminars for Midlands Landlords Accreditation Scheme and to manage most of her property portfolio

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