epc rules and requirements for landlords

What Are the EPC Rules for Landlords?

Stay informed on EPC rules and requirements for landlords. Know what’s needed to maintain compliance and avoid penalties.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document that evaluates a property’s energy efficiency, graded from A to G (with A being the most efficient).

It provides details on energy usage and typical costs, along with recommendations to enhance efficiency and reduce consumption. 

For landlords letting out properties, EPCs are a legal requirement, so staying updated with the latest information is essential.

  1. What are the current minimum EPC requirements for landlords? 
  2. How can I get an EPC?
  3. Do I need to renew an EPC during a tenancy?  
  4. How long does an EPC last? 
  5. Can landlords be fined for not having EPC? 
  6. What financial assistance is the government offering? 
  7. When is an EPC not required?

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What are the current minimum EPC requirements for landlords? 

Since 2008, it’s been a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when you sell a property or rent it out.

In April 2018, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) was put in place to make privately rented houses and buildings more energy-efficient.

This meant that all properties for rent or sale in England and Wales had to have an EPC rating of at least ‘E’.

Fast forward to April 2020, and the MEES expanded its reach, encompassing all existing tenancies, not just new agreements or renewals.

In practice, this means that if your property doesn’t have a valid EPC rating of ‘E’ or higher, you are not legally allowed to let it.

Are there new EPC rules?

In 2023 the government announced plans to raise the minimum energy rating for privately rented properties to an EPC grade ‘C’.

These new rules would be introduced for new tenancies starting in 2025 and gradually be extended to cover all tenancies by 2028.

However, in September 2023 the government abandoned these plans, with the minimum energy rating remaining unchanged for the foreseeable future.

How can I get an EPC?

At OpenRent, we make obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate straightforward and affordable. Leveraging our position as the UK’s largest letting agent, we negotiate competitive rates for our 6.5 million landlords and tenants.

Trust our platform to connect you with accredited assessors, ensuring compliance with EPC requirements without breaking the bank.

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Do I need to renew an EPC during a tenancy?  

You don’t need to renew your property’s EPC if you have the same tenants in the property and you’re not making any changes to their tenancy agreement.

You only need to renew an expired EPC when you plan to market the property for new tenants, or if you want to reflect improvements you’ve made to a property that will result in a better rating. 

How long does an EPC last?

An EPC lasts for 10 years, no matter how many times the property is bought, sold or let. 

Can landlords be fined for not having EPC? 

Local authorities hold the authority to impose fines of £500 if you fail to provide your tenant with a copy of the EPC, and up to £5,000 if you don’t have a valid EPC.

What financial assistance is the government offering? 

Although boosting your EPC rating offers numerous benefits, the expenses associated with repairs and improvements can add up swiftly.

Therefore, it’s essential to explore available grants for landlords, which can alleviate some or all of the financial burden.

The government currently offers various grants, including ECO initiatives and the Great British Insulation Scheme, which can help improve your property’s EPC.

Additionally, it’s wise to consult with your local council about potential energy efficiency grants.

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When is an EPC not required?

If the property has a low energy rating, and the landlord believes the property cannot be improved to meet the minimum ‘E’ rating they can apply for an exemption from the MEES regulations.

Registering for an exemption is free for landlords, but as a part of this process, you must submit evidence proving the reason for the exemption.

Various types of exemptions include:

  • ‘High cost’ exemption
  • ‘7 year payback’ exemption
  • ‘All improvements made’ exemption
  • ‘Wall insulation’ exemption
  • ‘Consent’ exemption
  • ‘Devaluation’ exemption
  • ‘New landlord’ exemption

In line with the current regulations, some properties may be exempt from EPC regulations if the cost for upgrades to meet the requirements goes beyond £3,500.

This article is not intended to form legal or investment advice. Investments in property are not guaranteed and can decrease in value as well as increase.

Law & Regulation
21 January 2022

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