Has your EPC certificate expired?
EPC certificates were first launched on the 1st August 2007, and were introduced as a way to provide energy usage and costs on a property, as well as making suggestions about how the property could be more energy efficient. This is based on a rating between A to G; A being most efficient and G least efficient.
EPC certificates expire after 10 years and so many will be up for renewal this month. If you are planning on selling your property, or you are a landlord, then you must have an EPC in place prior to your property being put on the market, or being let, otherwise you could face a hefty fine. Buyers should also be aware of the importance of an EPC certificate on the property they are looking to purchase, and ensure this is something they view before proceeding.
EPC certificate changes April 2018
“Reviewing your EPC certificate is of even more significance with upcoming changes due to be introduced in April 2018,” explains Sarah Brooks, Residential Property Partner. “From April 2018, all properties must have an energy efficiency rating of at least an E. Predominantly this will impact landlords, as any properties with a rating less than this will be illegal to rent out, and will either need to be improved or taken off the market.”
Initially the rules will only apply to new tenancies and renewals agreed after April 2018, however it will be extended to include all tenancies by 2020. “This could have a significant impact for landlords,” continues Sarah. “If their property does fall in either the F or G category, then it is likely redevelopment work may need to be done on their property, which is not something that can be done overnight and could be a heavy financial burden.”
Sarah concludes, “Even if you are not a landlord and you are trying to sell your property, you could struggle if you fall into the F and G category on your EPC, so we would recommend that all property owners, not just landlords, review their EPC certificates now, particularly if you think yours may have expired or be about to expire. You may be pleasantly surprised that the energy performance has improved over the last 10 years if you have invested in your property, or it may be that even though you fell within the required category of A - E when the certificate was taken out 10 years ago, things may have changed within your property and you no longer meet the requirements.”
Further guidance for landlords will be published in October regarding the regulations change in April 2018. Certificates can be checked through the National Energy Performance Certificate Register, and if it is out of date people can also find an assessor on this website to produce a new one.
This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.