Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for Landlords

The purpose of the EPC
Legal requirement to provide
Minimum level of energy efficiency
Exemptions
What the EPC shows 

EPC information on property details available on this website 
How energy-efficient are student houses and complexes? 
Potential ratings and scope for improvements 
External sources of guidance on EPCs and LESAs 
Further guidance on Energy Performance Certificates

The purpose of the EPC

The purpose of the Energy Performance Certificate is to show prospective tenants the energy performance of the building they are planning to rent.

Legal requirement to provide

Landlords are required to provide an EPC at the point of marketing to prospective tenants and to tenants when they sign for the property. An EPC is required for all renting except where parts of a house or flats are let on single tenancy agreements or the property is an owner occupied property. Self contained houses and flats also require an EPC (detailed guidance below).

The EPC can be given to tenants in a paper form or (if the tenant agrees) in an electronic form. The EPC must be provided free of charge.

Minimum level of energy efficiency

From 1 April 2018, any new tenancy, renewal or extension, in order to be rented, the building must have a minimum energy rating of “E”. 

From 1 April 2020, the minimum level “E” applies to all tenancies – including existing.

As a side note, non-domestic properties are required to have a minimum “E” rating from 1 April 2018 for all new tenancies, rentals and extensions.

Exemptions 

National PRS Exemptions Register

There are a number of exemptions from having to achieve an “E” rating or better. But, in all cases, the property must then be registered on the National PRS Exemptions Register which will normally last for five years after which an attempt must again be made to bring the property up to the minimum rating. This is a public database allowing enforcement authorities easy access to check whether a rented property has been placed on the register.

Guidance on PRS exemptions and exemptions register evidence requirements

What the EPC shows

The EPC shows the energy efficiency rating (relating to running costs) and the Environmental Impact rating (relating to C02 emissions rating) of the property. They are shown on an A – G rating scale similar to those used for fridges and other electrical appliances; The certificate is accompanied by a recommendation report that contains recommendations on how to improve the building’s energy efficiency. However, there is no statutory requirement to carry out any of the recommended measures.

EPC information on property details available on this website

Properties displayed on the Unipol website contain EPC information at the bottom of the property details page.

Landlords using the Unipol service should include the following information on the accommodation form (either in paper format or online):

  • the EPC reference number
  • the energy efficiency rating
  • the potential energy efficiency rating
  • the environmental impact rating
  • the potential environmental impact rating

They should also tick the box giving a link to the full EPC.

Landlords not giving this information to Unipol should make an EPC available to students when they first see them.

Unipol will only display properties where we have received details of an EPC for the property.

How energy-efficient are student houses and complexes?

·         Unipol has seen a considerable number of EPCs. Our general impressions are that:

·         most newly built complexes are rated C and D (with gas heated complexes generally getting a C and electrically heated complexes getting a D)

·         most shared student houses will get a D or an E. If a house has been well insulated and has a recently fitted combination boiler then it can get a C. Anything with C or above is comparatively high on energy efficiency

·         almost no houses will get an A, but some houses do get a B. 

Potential ratings and scope for improvements

The certificate gives some information on potential savings that can be made. In many older Victorian houses, the potential rating is often very close to the current rating, meaning that little can be done to improve energy efficiency.

If the potential is a much higher rating than the current one this raises the possibility of making a number of energy improvements (details are available on the full report about what could be done) that might make the property more attractive to potential tenants. Occasionally, some small improvements make significant gains in efficiency so it is always worth considering the improvements suggested.

If you want further information on EPCs then click here

External sources of guidance on EPCs and funding available

Where a recommended measure is not a “relevant energy efficiency improvement” because the cost of purchasing and installing it cannot be wholly financed at no cost to the landlord

If the landlord cannot make any recommendations to bring the property up to the minimum rating at no cost to the landlord the property can be registered as exempt.

Funding to ensure the improvements are at no cost can be obtained from various sources:

  • A Green Deal Plan
  • Energy Company Obligation or similar scheme
  • Funding provided by central government or local authority or third party at no cost to the landlord.

Further guidance on Energy Performance Certificates

Guidance on EPCs for rented dwellings has now been published and is available on the Gov.UK website this article comments on this guidance.

See: The Private Rented Property minimum standard – landlord guidance documents