5 EPC Questions London Landlords Need to Know the Answer To

Making your property more energy-efficient could be the best thing you can do for your revenue as a landlord, and with London buildings being so old and historic, you will probably find that most aren’t as efficient as they could be!

When you do this, you’re helping to create a welcoming and comfortable environment inside of your properties. This will help you find tenants more quickly and easily and encourages them to keep renewing their contracts, so you have a more stable return on your investments.

Of course, improving your energy efficiency will also help slash energy costs, reduce the carbon footprint of the property, and helps in the fight against climate change. While renting out to a tenant, they will appreciate these efforts.

Getting an Domestic Energy Performance Certificate in London is one of the ways that you can ensure that this happens. A legal requirement for all domestic and commercial properties, this certificate helps rate the energy efficiency of the property and identify key changes that could be made.

Below, we answer a few key questions about the EPC to help you make the best choice for your property portfolio and the planet.

1. What is an EPC?

EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. It’s a rating system which indicates how energy efficient a property is.

Since 2008, all properties in England and Wales has been required to have an EPC by law. After surveyed, the information is added to a national energy efficiency register, unless you decide to opt-out. Anyone can log on and view the EPC register.

The survey of the property usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour and are valid for ten years. Any properties that were certified immediately after this law came into effect are likely to need to renew their EPC now.

2. How do you know if your London premises need an EPC?

According to UK government guidance, you must have an EPC if:

  • You are putting your property onto the market to sell.
  • You are renting out your property.
  • You have a building under construction that is close to being finished.
  • You’ve changed an existing building for separate occupation.

The EPC must be conducted by an approved London energy assessor and the certificate must be displayed on the inside of your building (if the floor space is over 500m² or frequently visited by the public.)

You should also include this rating in any advertisements regarding the sale or letting of the property and provide a copy to the tenant or prospective buyer without a charge.

3. What are EPC Ratings?

The EPC ratings explain how energy efficient your building is. Using a colour coded system, it divides the resulting ‘score’ into seven bands from A to G.

An ‘A’ rating indicates that a building is highly energy efficient whereas a ‘G’ rating indicates that many improvements need to be made to improve energy efficiency.

New guidelines introduced in April 2018 demand that all buildings much reach a minimum EPC rating of E unless there is an exemption in place. It is illegal to rent a property that doesn’t meet these guidelines and you could be met with a penalty if you don’t comply.

4. Is it possible to be exempt?

Yes, there are certain types of properties that can be exempt from the EPC. This includes:

  • Listed buildings (where cannot be made more energy efficient)
  • Places of worship
  • Holiday accommodation and residential buildings used less than 4 months a year
  • Industrial sites and workshops
  • Buildings that are to be demolished
  • Buildings intended to be used for part of the year (for example, holiday lets)
  • Stand-alone buildings with less than 50 square metres of useful floor space
  • Buildings that do not have a roof or do not have walls (such as a kiosk or multi-storey car park)
  • Buildings without heating, ventilation or air conditioning equipment
  • Buildings that are not designed to be used separately
  • Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural properties with low energy demand
  • Properties not let under tenancy (such as let on licence or agreement for lease arrangements)
  • Properties with tenancies of less than six months or greater than 99 years

For clarification on your unique situation, please contact us for more information.

5. What happens if I fail to get an EPC?

You could be issued a penalty if you don’t get an EPC when the law requires you to do so.

For London domestic properties, this is a flat penalty of £200. For commercial and non-domestic properties, the average penalty currently stands at 12.5% of the rateable value of your property with a minimum penalty of £500 and a maximum of £5000.

According to legislation, you will be unable to rent or let your property without an EPC, causing a loss of income and damage to your reputation.

You can also be fined for past breaches of EPC legislation, up to 18 months after it occurred.

The EPC provides great insight into the energy efficiency of our private, public and commercial buildings. This helps reduce energy bills, puts more money back into our pockets and helps to protect the environment too. London living is expensive, so it can be a welcome addition to lower energy costs while also helping the environment!

Ensure that you have a current and valid EPC for your building so that your business can continue to run as it should.

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