Thursday, 3 August 2017

What’s the point of an EPC?

I wrote about Energy Performance Certificates a couple of years ago, questioning whether they were “a waste of time”. The article got a good response, with very few people having anything positive to say about EPC’s.

Questions were raised about the accuracy of the reports, said to be fundamentally flawed due to the surveyor having to make various ‘assumptions’. As they aren’t able to drill into walls or ceilings to check insulation levels they have to guess instead, typically leaning towards the worst case.

Others confirmed that so few people pay attention to the EPC that there is little value in improving the energy efficiency of the home to then instruct and pay for another assessment to prove it.

Through all of this though, the fact remains that having a valid Energy Performance Certificate in place before marketing a property for sale or rent is a legal requirement.

And new lettings legislation stipulates that if you don’t provide the EPC to your tenant before they let the property you are unable to serve them with a Section 21 notice should you want to regain possession of the property.

I think EPC’s are going to get a lot more press in the coming months and years for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, their implementation has just turned ten years old. Many of you will know that an EPC is valid for ten years. That means the very earliest EPC’s are expiring and, as you need a valid one to let a property, not having a new one in place could see you unwittingly breaking the law!

Secondly, from the 1st April 2018 you will not even be able to let out a property if its energy rating is lower than an ‘E’!

Listed buildings are exempt however, because improvements, such as double glazing, are often barred and thus it is very difficult to rectify a low rating.

Of the 4.2 million privately rented properties in England and Wales though, it is thought 10% will be unlettable without improvements before next April.

I think we’ll see some news stories from both elements of this. There will be the hard luck stories of landlords having to spend thousands on energy upgrades just to let their property out. And there’s bound to be a court case between a non-paying tenant and a landlord where the tenant’s defence to stay is that they weren’t shown an EPC.

If you’re a landlord and you’ve misplaced the paperwork, you can visit the EPC register at to find your Energy Performance Certificate free of charge. Be sure to check it is still valid and make a note of when it expires (ten years after it was commissioned). Ensure your property is at least an E rating and provide your tenants with a copy if they don’t already have one.

If you’d rather someone else dealt with all the paperwork and ever-changing legislation in regards to your rental property, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.

 (This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on 3rd August 2017) 

Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings.


If you are looking for an agent that is well-establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

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