From April 2018 new rules released by the DECC (Department for Energy and Climate Change) will apply to the EPC rating of any rental properties, this means you will be breaking the law and you can be fined if your property is in category F or G! An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document you are required by law to have when selling or letting your home. It rates the level of insulation in your home from A (the highest) to G (inefficient).
The rating is based on fuel costs rather than CO2 emissions for domestic property. Landlords will need to improve the insulation in their properties and of course this will be a costly job; leading inevitably to increased rental prices to cover this expenditure! This ruling will be enforced by local Trading Standards Officers and fines will relate to the rentable value, from £5,000 to £150,000!
Here are the fines released so far:
- You provide false or misleading information to the PRS Exemptions Register: £1,000
- Failure to comply with a compliance notice from your local authority: £2,000
- Renting out a non-compliant property for less than three months: £4,000
- Renting out a non-compliant property for more than three months: £5,000.
The first thing to bear in mind is to act quickly. You should have ordered an EPC inspection before your property goes to market ideally, and then have it available within seven days of it going up. There is a grace period of 21 days, but beyond that there shouldn’t be any hesitation – you absolutely must have one or face the possibility of a fine.
To get one you should have your property inspected by a qualified domestic or non-domestic energy inspector, in which we have reliable sources we could connect you with if placing your property on the market with us. They will then issue you with an EPC or a non-domestic EPC (NDEPC) if you have a commercial property. You should then state this rating on the advertisement and make it available to your tenant as soon as possible.