Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for Landlords
The purpose of the Energy Performance Certificate is to show prospective tenants the energy performance of the building they are planning to rent.
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.
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.
For landlords displaying their properties on the Unipol web site the web site displays details of the EPC at the bottom of the property details page or a short version of the EOPC can be accessed by clicking on the icon on the property details.
Landlords who use the Unipol service need to provide to Unipol, on the Accommodation Form (either in paper format or on line):
- the EPC reference number
- the energy efficiency rating
- the potential energy efficiency rating
- the environmental impact rating
- the [potential environmental impact rating
- and they should tick the box giving a link to the full EPC.
This appears on the Accommodation Form in this format:
Landlords not giving this information to Unipol should make an EPC available to students when they first see them. After March 1st 2009, Unipol will only display properties where we have received details of an EPC for the property.
Example of Energy Perfomance Bar Chart
How Energy Efficient are Student Houses and Complexes?
Unipol has seen a considerable number of EPCs and, although it is still early days, it is possible to pass on some general impressions.
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 (at the latest count there were 22 houses in England in this category) but some houses do get a B. Likewise, almost no houses get a G, but any house on F and G will mean it is expensive to heat.
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 LESAs
Directgov - government website. If you are a landlord and make energy saving improvements to your property, you could reduce the tax you pay. You can do this by claiming the ‘Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance’ (LESA). Find out if you are eligible, what the allowance covers and how to apply for it.
Further guidance on Energy Performance Certificates
guidance on EPCs for rented dwellings has now been published and is available on the CLG website this article comments on this Guidance.
Page 16 of the Guidance says under "Determining the type of EPC required" states:
"Dwellings in multiple occupation: Where individual rooms in a building are rented out and there are shared facilities (eg kitchen and/or bathroom), an EPC is not required. This because an EPC is only required on the rental of a building or part of a building designed or altered to be used separately. Renting a room does not meet the ‘part of a building’ definition."
A number of case studies are then given and the important ones for student housing are:
"A house or flat is rented by a number of tenants who have exclusive use of their bedrooms but share a kitchen and bathroom. In this case each tenant has a contract with the landlord for the parts they have access to, but not for a whole dwelling. An EPC is therefore not required each time a tenant moves, although one will be required for the whole house if it is sold, rented as a whole or constructed."
This says that EPCs are not required at all for those renting rooms within a building (such as a cluster flat or house) when they are let individually.
The second says:
"A group of friends rent a property and there is a single contract between the landlord and the group as the contract is for the rental of a whole dwelling."
This means that a flat or house let on a joint agreement requires an EPC for the whole house/flat which the tenants should be given a copy of.
- Occupants of rooms in buildings let on individual agreements where there are shared common parts do not require an EPC
- Occupants of buildings let on joint agreements for a whole house or flat do need an EPC
Tenants find more information about EPCs here