Is energy performance certificate a legal requirement?

energy performance

What is an EPC?

A property’s energy efficiency is evaluated by an EPC. This can range from the installation of hot water heaters and insulation to the adoption of energy-efficient lightbulbs. The cost of energy will increase when a property becomes less energy efficient. A property’s potential score and environmental impact rating are also displayed in an EPC, along with suggested adjustments. Most houses require an EPC when being sold or rented out. EPCs have a 10-year lifespan; thus, they must be renewed before a property may be marketed.

How to obtain an EPC?

You must contact a certified assessor. Your property will be evaluated, and the certificate will be generated.

You risk a fine if you don’t obtain an EPC when you need one. If you’re buying or renting a home, the seller, the letting agent, or the landlord must show you the EPC.

Is an energy performance certificate a legal requirement? 

All residential and commercial structures in the UK that are for sale or rent are required by law to have an Energy Performance Certificate as it’s an EPC legal requirement. The broad guidelines mentioned above do have a few deviations. If you can prove the building is exempt, you won’t need to submit an EPC.

Obtaining an EPC is always the landlord’s or building owner’s duty. Before granting a new lease, your property will need to enhance its energy efficiency to achieve the minimal “E” rating if it has an F or G rating. After being upgraded, a new EPC will be needed to confirm the property now complies with the minimum standards.

Which properties require an EPC?

Generally speaking, all properties—commercial and residential alike—need a valid EPC before being marketed. There are a few exceptions, though.

There has been an “exemption” for listed structures since January 2013. The exemption is conditional, though. The certification includes any work that could be done to the building to enhance its energy efficiency. If an EPC report was produced, the recommendations section would include these works that would need approval under Part L of the building standards (The Conservation of Fuel and Power). The listed building would be eligible for an exemption if the proposed works would significantly change the building’s appearance or character.

The following structures do not require an EPC.

  • Listed structures are prohibited from improvements like double glazing.
  • structures used for religious purposes and as houses of worship
  • temporary structures utilized for no more than two years
  • detached structures with a total floor area of less than 50 square meters
  • Limited-energy industrial facilities, workshops, and non-residential agricultural structures
  • Several structures that are slated for demolition
  • Vacation rental properties that are rented out for fewer than four months per year or that are rented under a license to occupy
  • Residential structures used for fewer than four months per year

Before you advertise your property for rent, you must select an accredited energy performance assessor to evaluate your property’s energy performance and create an EPC unless your property is exempt.

Can a property be EPC-exempt?

However, there are some exceptions to the rule against renting out homes with an E or lower energy rating.

Once a landlord has registered the exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register and the property fits the requirements for one of the exemptions, the landlord will be able to rent it out.

What kinds of EPC Exemptions exist?

The following six exemptions can be registered:

  • All necessary improvements made an exemption

If the property’s EPC rating remains below “E” even after improvements up to the cost cap (£3,500 inclusive of VAT) have been completed, or if no further improvements are feasible, this exemption may be registered.

  • High-cost exemption

If no improvement can be made because it would cost more than £3,500 (including VAT) to install even the cheapest recommended measure, this exemption can be filed.

  • Wall insulation exemption

If the following are the sole pertinent changes to the property, this exemption may be registered:

  • wall insulation in a cavity
  • wall insulation on the exterior
  • wall insulation on internal (for external walls)
  • Exemption for third-party consent

This exemption can be registered if, despite best efforts, the required approval from another party (like a superior landlord, mortgagee, freeholder, or planning department) is required for the relevant improvements to the property but cannot be obtained or is granted subject to requirements that a property owner could not reasonably meet.

  • Property devaluation exemption

If there is proof that making energy efficiency upgrades to the property would reduce its value by more than 5%, this exemption is registerable.

  • Temporary exemption as a result of recent landlord status

Under some conditions, a person who just became a landlord will not be required to take immediate steps to upgrade their property to an EPC “E.” From the day they become a landlord, they may request a six-month exemption.

Is an EPC required to rent a property?

Since an EPC is now legally required, it should have one if your home has been sold or rented out since 2008. Before marketing a property, the landlord or property owner must get an EPC and have a copy of the certificate (energy performance certificate check) on hand to show prospective renters. Since the changes took effect in April 2018, landlords must now obtain an EPC rating of at least “E” in order to rent out their properties. The landlord is expected to undertake the necessary energy-saving changes if the property is rated lower than an “E,” and a fresh EPC certificate check is needed to demonstrate that the property satisfies the minimal requirements.

Unless there is an accepted exemption, landlords now risk a penalty fee of up to £4,000 if they do not satisfy the minimum efficiency criteria. In the UK, the majority of homes receive a D or E grade.

Tenants wishing to increase their energy efficiency might also benefit from the information on an EPC. Since April 2016, tenants have been able to ask their landlord for approval to make energy-saving changes to the privately rented property.

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