Landlords in the UK have a lot of rules and regulations to keep up with. The UK government rightly wants to ensure that all tenants have the best possible living conditions – and this means that there are certain hoops you have to jump through if you want to rent out your property.
One piece of documentation which is important for landlords is the EPC (read below to find out what this means). But the UK government introduced a significant rule change in 2022, to be implemented from 2025, which all landlords need to know.
What does ‘EPC’ stand for?
In the UK property industry, the letters ‘EPC’ stands for ‘Energy Performance Certificate’. An EPC is a document which provides information about how energy efficient a property is.
Energy Performance Certificates are valid for ten years and will grade your property between A and G. ‘A’ is an indication of a high level of energy efficiency, while ‘G’ demonstrates that your property has poor energy efficiency.
The majority of prospective house buyers or tenants will find a property with a higher EPC rating more attractive. It can mean fewer improvements are required and monthly energy bills will be lower.
Obtaining an EPC for your property is relatively straightforward. The majority of sellers contact an accredited energy assessor directly, or speak to their estate agent who can arrange one on their behalf.
An Energy Performance Certificate usually costs between £30 – £100 in the UK.
Why is an EPC important to a landlord?
When you want to sell a property ‘on the market’ in the UK, an Energy Performance Certificate is usually required by law. This means that any landlord will typically need to get one (or at least find out if they are exempt) before selling their house.
Furthermore, in Scotland, it is a legal requirement that the EPC is displayed in the property at all times. This means that if a landlord is renting out their property, they need to ensure that the certificate is clearly displayed to their tenants, so they can’t report them or take action.
When do you not need an EPC?
There are a few occasions in the UK when you do not require an EPC as a homeowner. These include:
- Temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
- Some buildings that are due to be demolished
- Holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
- Listed buildings – you should get advice from your local authority conservation officer if the work would alter the building’s character
- Residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year
As a landlord, you may not need to get an EPC for your property if it meets one of these criteria. But it is always important to speak to the local authority and get independent verification of what is/isn’t needed.
EPC Changes from 2025 All Landlords Need to Know
The UK government has announced that there will be changes to laws and regulations surrounding EPCs from 2025 onwards.
In the past, the minimum requirement for an EPC to be adequate is an ‘E’ rating. However, this is due to change in 2025 onwards, when landlords will need to make sure that any new tenancies have a minimum rating of ‘C’. By 2028, all rental properties will need to have a ‘C’ rating.
This change has been introduced by the UK government in its efforts to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, and become net zero by 2050.
What should landlords do about EPC changes?
It is important to get the EPC rating of your property re-tested, if you have not done so recently. This will give you a clear sense of your current rating, so you can assess whether improvements need to be made.
If you need to make improvements to your property, so its EPC rating goes up, you should budget for this. Changes to a property costs money – so save up as soon as possible. You can speak to independent experts about how to cost-effectively improve your EPC rating – and once you have made any necessary changes, get proof of your property’s successful new rating.
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