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EPC ratings for landlords

With an increasing focus on green properties in the Private Rented Sector (PRS), we are committed to helping our landlords in making sure that their properties are up to standard. Maximising the energy efficiency of your property not only ensures that you are complying with the latest Government regulations, but it can also make your property more attractive to prospective tenants.

Does your Energy Performance Certificate meet regulation?

Since April 2018, landlords have been required to achieve a minimum rating of E on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for their rental property for new tenancies or tenancy renewals.

From April 2020, this was extended to cover existing tenancies, meaning all rented properties now need to have an EPC rating of E, even where there has been no change in tenancy.

If your property is let on an assured tenancy, a regulated tenancy or a domestic agricultural tenancy, and is legally required to have an EPC, it is covered by these regulations. If the property you let has been marketed for sale or let, or modified, in the past 10 years then it’s likely that it will be legally required to have an EPC.

Does your property have an EPC rating of F or G?

Since 1 April 2020, properties with an EPC rating of F or G are now classed as unrentable, so now is the time to make energy efficiency improvements.

However, under the regulation’s cost cap, landlords will never be required to spend more than £3,500, including VAT. Where a property cannot be improved sufficiently to achieve an EPC rating of E for £3,500 or less, landlords must take all steps up to £3,500 and register an ‘all improvements made’ exemption.

What is an EPC

The EPC gives each building a SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) rating. This equates to an energy rating from A to G (A is very efficient, and G is very inefficient), like those already seen on white goods. The certificate will show the energy efficiency levels of a property, so a prospective tenant is able to determine and compare the relative financial running costs of renting a property.

The certificate also includes the following information:

  • An estimate of the energy the property potentially uses
  • Fuel costs - an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power the property
  • Details of potential savings that could be made if energy efficiency improvements are made
  • Carbon dioxide emissions
  • Details of the person who carried out the assessment
  • Who to contact for complaints
How do I get an updated EPC?

The EPC is produced by a qualified Energy Assessor who visits the rental property and gathers vital information to produce the certificate.

Each certificate will last for ten years unless major renovation work is carried out on the property.

Property owners can voluntarily get a new certificate after installation of energy efficiency measures – particularly if these improve the energy rating. If a newer EPC has been produced for a home within the ten-year period, only the most recent one is valid.

The costs an Energy Assessor may charge vary quite widely, anywhere from £50 to £100 plus depending on location

What can I do to make my property more energy efficient

Often the Assessor will recommend energy efficiency measures such as loft and or cavity wall insulation (where it can be fitted), thermostatic radiator valves and double glazing. Other provisions to consider are installing a new boiler (if the original is over ten years old) and checking for heat escaping from the property by use of a thermal imaging camera.

Thermal imaging technology has moved on apace in recent years, so much so that today, you can even buy an attachment for your smart phone and instantly have a thermal camera at your disposal.

Thermal imaging will allow you to check around doors and windows, where pipes exit the property and for cold-spots in radiators.

This technology can help to identify quick fixes (and stay on top of property maintenance) which may or may not help reach the required ‘E Rating’ or above on the EPC.

For further energy efficiency advice, the Energy Savings Trust website is a great place to start.

Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551