Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) update
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) UPDATE for landlords
Landlords that are looking to let their property should be aware that since the 1st October 08 every residential landlord has been required to have an EPC before they are able to market their property for rent.
Failure to have an EPC could result in a landlord being fined £200 by trading standards.
The Energy Performamce Certificate rates a landlord’s rental property in terms of it’s energy efficiency and then classifies them in bands from A – G with A being the most efficient.
EPC – discounted rate – national provider
What do we think of the EPC?
Property Hawk has already nailed its’ colours to the mast. Just like landlord licensing we think it’s bureaucracy gone mad!
The crazy bit of paperwork was dreamt up by the bureaucrats in Brussels and has arrived on landlords doorsteps courtesy of a European directive. These bits of useless paper are a spin off from the governments much maligned HIPs or Home Information Packs .
Energy Performance Certificates – a fact of life
As it stands the EPC is here to stay and given they have come from Brussels there is not much that any of us, including the Government can do about it.
Chris Grant EPC expert, and Director of EPC choice gives Property Hawk readers an interesting insight on how things are working 9 months on from their introduction.
According to Chris a lot of people are obtaining them.
Landmark, the company responsibility for the database on which all EPCs are held tells us that during May 2009, 168,135 domestic EPCs where added to the register.
This is down from a peak of 266,954 in October 2008 when the legislation was introduced.
Figures for June show that on average some 7000 EPCs are being undertaken daily.
Clearly landlords are obtaining EPCs but it is important to remember that these figures include EPCs undertaken for inclusion within Home Information Packs.
These figures also include numbers from Housing Associations and Local Authorities are also contributing significantly to the tally by virtue of having adopted a pro-active approach to EPCs resulting in huge proportions of their estates being surveyed at a single time.
EPC –responsibility of landlord even when using an letting agent
Chris Grant of EPC choice warns landlords that:
“It is important to remember that obtaining an EPC is the sole responsibility of the landlord. Even if you use an letting agent to let your property you will need to ensure that the EPC is available to show even a prospective tenant.”
“Some agents will offer to obtain an EPC on your behalf, but in order to remain independent of that letting agent we suggest that the Landlord contacts an EPC Provider directly. There may well be a cost saving to be made also by adopting this approach”
Don’t get caught out – use a Pre Energy Performance Certificate
Landlords who don’t have one but don’t need one because they are mid tenancy can take advantage of EPC Choice’s offer of a preEPC©.
This means that an EPC survey can be undertaken now but the lodgement of the certificate can be delayed until the property is next marketed. In this way the landlord then benefits from the maximum 10 year validity of the EPC and also has the opportunity to undertake any of the specified improvements.
Do tenants pay any attention?
Are tenants paying any attention to the ratings. Research from the Government shows that 79 per cent of renters are worried about the cost of their household bills. This is at a time when bills are a hefty slice of UK households’ expense budget, with the average UK household currently paying the equivalent of 20 per cent of the average rent (£6760) on their gas and electricity bills (£1360).
Anecdotal evidence shows that tenants presented with similar properties will plump for the more energy efficient one.
Chris Grant’s message to landlords is:
“EPCs are here to stay, and the professional landlord must be seen to be complying if they hope to send the right message to a prospective tenant. The EPC once obtained is valid for 10 years and with increasing amounts of legislation for the landlord to comply with, obtaining your EPC now provides the landlord with the opportunity to tick off an important box and make their investment a more attractive proposition to tenants”
For many landlords getting an EPC is like taking medicine. They need to close their eyes and swallow; and hope that the bad taste will disappear quickly.