EPC required by 1.10
Time is running out for landlords. They will need an Energy Performance Certificate EPC after the 1.10 if they market an investment property for letting after the October deadline or risk a £200 fine from the Local Trading Standards Officer.
What is an EPC?
An EPC or Energy Performance Certificate is broadly similar to the labels provided with domestic appliances such as fridges and washing machines. They provide a rating of how energy efficient a building is by giving it a rating between A & G, where A is very inefficient. The idea being that tenants can use them to make informed decisions on which property to rent based partly on their likely fuel efficiency.
When do I need one?
The EPC and recommendation report must be made available free of charge by the landlord to any prospective tenant at the earliest opportunity. The government defines these “opportunities” as being when
“ any written information about the building is provided in response to a request for information received from the prospective tenant”
“when a viewing is conducted”
If neither of the above takes place then the EPC must be produced before the letting contract is signed.
Where do I get one?
EPCs are available from one of the approximately 7000 qualified domestic energy assessors (DEA’s) that have been recruited to handle the work.
How much should they cost?
The government estimate that they should cost around £100.
If a landlord searches the Internet they will be quoted prices over and under £100. Some of the low cost EPC on further inspection are not quite as attractive as they first appear. Many headline rates exclude VAT which will immediately put an extra 17.5% onto the cost. Others offer variable rates for different sized properties. Needless to say the low price only applies to 1 bed properties for example.
Property Hawk has accessed various EPC providers for value for money and service. We have decided to partner with EPC Choice and are now able to offer EPCs nationally at the simple flat rate of £80 for any size residential property and with all taxes included. EPC Choice may not be the absolute cheapest some landlord associations are offering them for less to their member but landlords will then have to fork out the £70 or so to join; however they offer quality service and simplicity.
The good news
The good news for landlords is that once done the EPC lasts for 10 years.
The other attraction for landlords of using the EPC Choice scheme is that if you tenants are currently mid tenancy or even a few weeks into a new tenancy agreement EPC Choice have developed a product for landlords wishing to obtain an EPC now to get it out the way. EPC Choice offer a preEPC©. This means that a 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.
What does Property Hawk think of EPCs?
Property Hawk has already nailed our flag to the mask in terms of what we think of the EPC. We think that it actually stands for Extra Pointless Certificate. For more information about the EPC and views and comments see the links below: