Is it a legal requirement to have an EPC when selling or letting your property?

Categories Selling

If you’ve not moved home in a while or you’re new to being a landlord, you may have heard the term Energy Performance Certificate or EPC but don’t know what it is, or if you have heard of them, you might be wondering whether you need one.  In this blog post we’re going to share our industry knowledge on EPC’s so by the end you’ll know exactly what an Energy Performance Certificate is and if you need one for selling or letting your property

What is an EPC?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were brought into force in August 2007, following a EU directive that was embraced into English law by the Housing Act 2004. EPC’s originally formed part of the Home Information Pack (HIP), until May 2010 when the HIP was abolished. The EPC component was retained as a legal requirement for all residential properties at their time of construction, or when an existing property is sold or rented.

EPC is short for Energy Performance Certificate, a document that provides a record of the energy efficiency or performance rating of a residential building.

How are properties assessed?

The EPC needs to be carried out by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor, who will visit the property and inspect the key areas including the loft and cavity wall insulation (depending upon age and construction), windows for double-glazing, heating and hot water systems, secondary heating, light bulbs, solar and photovoltaic panels.

The Domestic Energy Assessor enters their findings into a software programme that produces the energy rating. The resulting Energy Performance Certificate also includes the address, type of property, habitable internal floor area, date of inspection and a unique serial number.

These certificates are held on a central database within the public domain and can be readily accessed for free at www.epcregister.com.


Example Energy Performance Certificate

Each property is given a digital score that is translated into rating from A to C for new build and C to G for existing. This is depicted on a bar chart graph, with ‘A’ being the most energy efficient. In addition, a second ‘Potential’ rating is given to show how energy efficient the property could be, if all the recommendations outlined in the EPC document on how the property can be made more energy efficient are implemented.

The certificate is valid for 10 years and will only need to be reassessed if the property is extended of other works have been undertaken that fundamentally affect its rating.

Does your property fall into one of the categories that don’t need and EPC?

If might surprise you to hear that not all residential properties being brought to the market require an EPC as there are some types of properties that are exempt:

  • Listed buildings
  • Mixed usage: residential and commercial.
  • Properties due to be demolished with valid planning consent for redevelopment.
  • Residential buildings with usage for less than 4 months a year.

What happens if you want to sell, but don’t have an EPC?

If you are thinking of selling and you don’t have a valid EPC, you need not worry as its absence won’t delay putting your property on the market, as long as one is ordered prior to the commencement of marketing.

Do you need an EPC for rental properties?

For rental properties, as of 1st April 2018 all new or renewed private sector tenancies will need to have a minimum rating of E. It will be unlawful for a landlord to rent a property with a lower rating, unless there is an applicable exemption.

How do you get an EPC?

Curchods are well accustomed to bringing residential properties to the market for sale and let. We work closely with a number of very efficient, accredited suppliers who can provide you with the full EPC document prior to marketing. Our marketing package can be ready to go within 24 hours and include a floorplan of your property accompanied by professional photography.

For further information on EPC’s or expert advice on all property sales and lettings matters, speak to your local Curchods office.

 

Author: Owen Miles

Owen Miles, Partner Curchods Shepperton

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