By law, all domestic and commercial buildings in the UK available to buy or rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). However, there are a few exceptions to the general rules outlined above. You will not require an EPC if you can demonstrate that the building is exempt.
It is always the responsibility of the landlord or owner of the building to obtain an EPC. If your property has a rating of F or G, then its energy efficiency will need to be improved to meet the minimum ‘E’ rating before granting a new tenancy. Once upgraded a new EPC will be required to verify the property now meets the minimum requirements.
Which buildings don’t need an EPC?
- Listed buildings that cannot have upgrades like double glazing
- Buildings used as places of worship and for religious activities
- Temporary buildings that will be used for 2 years or less
- Detached buildings with less than 50 square metres total floor space
- Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that use limited energy
- Some buildings that are due to be demolished
- Holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
- Residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year
Unless your property is exempt, you will need to appoint an accredited energy performance assessor to review your property’s energy performance and produce an EPC before you market your property to rent.
Do you need an EPC to rent a property?
The requirement for an EPC has been the law since 2008, meaning if your home has been sold or let since then, it should have one. It is the responsibility of the landlord or property owner to obtain an EPC before marketing a property and must have a copy of the certificate ready to show potential tenants.
Changes came into force in April 2018, meaning that landlords are now required to achieve a minimum rating of ‘E’ on the EPC in order to rent their property. If the property is rated below an ‘E’, the landlord must make the necessary energy-saving improvements and a new EPC is required to prove that the property meets the minimum requirements.
Landlords now face a penalty fine of up to £4,000 if they fail to meet the minimum efficiency requirement, unless there is an accepted exemption. Most properties in the UK are graded as D or E.
The information provided on an EPC is also useful for tenants looking for ways to improve their energy efficiency. Since April 2016, tenants can now seek permission from their landlord to make energy-saving improvements on their privately rented property.