The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows the energy efficiency of a property, including any recommendations for improving the energy standards of the property, and it is a legal requirement in the UK that all properties for sale or to let have this certification.
When letting or selling a property the EPC must be commissioned before any marketing can begin and a physical copy should be obtained within 7 days of the property first being advertised. That gives landlords just a week to instruct an agent, arrange an EPC and begin marketing the property for sale or to let.
Even if you are employing an agent to market the property for you, it is still the responsibility of the rental property’s landlord or the home owner (vendor) to obtain the EPC.
A fine of £200 (GBP) may be applied if an EPC is not commissioned before marketing begins or a copy is not available for prospective buyers or tenants to view.
The legislation for EPCs was recently changed and this came into effect from the 9th January 2013.
It is now required to provide a copy of the EPC graphs in any commercial media, including online property portals.
There are, however, some exemptions for certain properties.
Before the 9th January 2013 there were 3 exemptions:
- Property which is used or intended to be used for four months or fewer in a year
- Buildings under construction which are not yet completed
- Buildings due to be demolished
The latest changes to legislation now mean that protected or listed buildings are no longer required to have an EPC where meeting minimum energy standards would unacceptably alter their character or appearance.
However, research has shown that tenants are not really interested in the energy efficiency of rental properties, until they receive their first energy bill.
Tenants are more interested in the location and suitability of the rental property upon first viewing rather than how much it costs to heat it.
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