Energy Performance Certificates When Letting Residential Property
Landlords should by now be familiar with the requirement to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate or EPC before beginning the letting of a property. If there is no existing certificate they can usually be obtained for around £75 depending on the property or the supplier.
A copy of the EPC should be made available to all prospective tenants at the earliest opportunity and indeed there are rules about this which should be observed.
For new tenancies starting on or after the 1st October 2015, Landlords have to provide the EPC to tenants before they can rely on a Section 21 Notice. The Section 21 Notice is the Notice given to a tenant effectively stating the date after which the Landlord would wish to obtain vacant possession of the property and is the standard method of bringing a tenancy to an end.
There are fixed penalties for failing to provide an EPC or to make one available when required. The penalty is £200 per dwelling and there is a 6 month time limit for any enforcement action to be taken.
As from 1st April 2018, it is now a legal requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to have a minimum energy performance rating of E on the EPC. The regulations apply to new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and will apply to all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. This means that it will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating unless there is an applicable exemption.