How to get an updated EPC rating – Advice for landlords

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) rules were introduced in 2018. These rules state that the minimum EPC rating for any domestic rental property needs to be band E. 

The rules, which were first introduced in 2015 in England and Wales, pertain to rental homes. From 2018, they made it illegal for any private landlords to rent out properties which have an EPC rating which is below E. Any properties which do have an EPC rating that is lower than this cannot be offered for rent until the rating has been improved. It is important for landlords to understand that these regulations do not only apply to new tenancy agreements, but also long term lets that have been in place for a while. In other words, ensuring that all of their rental properties have an EPC certificate rating of at least E is essential. 

Not only is it important to have an EPC for your property but it is also important to make sure that they are kept up to date. 

What is an EPC and how do you get one?

An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) contains detailed information about the energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions of a property.

In order to get an EPC on your property you will need to engage the services of a Domestic Energy Assessor. They will carry out an Energy Assessment Survey. This survey will include internal and external inspections of the property in order to determine not only how energy-efficient the building is but also if improvements were made what possible level of efficiency could be achieved. If you want an updated EPC rating for your property you can arrange for an assessor to come out as well. They will look at your home in detail, assessing the:

  • Windows
  • Roofs, insulation and walls
  • Boilers and heating systems
  • Renewable energy devices (for example, solar panels or wind turbines)
  • Lighting
  • Fireplaces
  • Measurements of the building
  • The year the property was built

When the assessor has completed a full and detailed inspection of the building, they will be able to complete the EPC and give you a grade for the property based on its energy performance. These grades go from A, which is the most efficient a building can be, to G which is the least efficient.

An average inspection should take between 30-40 minutes and the certificate you receive will be valid for 10 years. It will need to be renewed if you are looking at selling the property or if you are looking to start a new tenancy agreement with new tenants. 

What Happens If A Property Is Rated Below E?

If, following the inspection, the assessor feels that the property does not meet the EPC requirements for an E or above, they will make suggestions on improvements that could be made to help you reach the minimum requirements. These improvements could take several weeks to complete depending on the suggestions made and the availability of the appropriate tradespeople to undertake the work.

The suggestions for an assessor will include improvements and advice that you can follow to help make the property more energy efficient, and may include:

  • Installing loft insulation and cavity wall insulation
  • Draught-proofing doors and window
  • Insulating tanks and pipes
  • Installing a condensing boiler
  • Reducing water usage at the property
  • Considering glazing that is more energy efficient
  • Considering renewable energy technology for example air source heat pumps, wood-fuelled heating, wind turbines or solar panels
  • Installing low-energy usage light bulbs throughout the property

As a landlord you may be eligible for funding via the ECO4 grant, backed by the government, to make these changes. To check your eligibility, simply use our online application form or get in touch with the team at Eco Providers. We’re available to make accessing ECO4 funding as simple as possible, whilst also carrying out the necessary assessments and work to make these upgrades to properties across the UK. 

Remember, any tenants in the property or who are about to move in are entitled to a copy of the EPC, and should be given one as soon as it is completed. They can also check this information online.

Any landlords who attempt to rent out properties that do not have an EPC could face a fine from the local authority of up to £5,000.

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