The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating used in England and Wales categorises the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A to G (A = most efficient and G= least efficient). The benefit of a higher efficiency EPC rating is lower energy bills and a better carbon footprint.
The government plans to hit zero net emissions by 2050. As part of this commitment, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero previously proposed 2025 as the deadline for all new lets to achieve a rating of at least C, and 2028 for all other rented properties.
It has however been reported that the Government intends to push back the deadline by three years, to give landlords more time to make the improvements required to meet this standard. This will be welcome news for landlords, given the complications of the works and the risks of hefty financial penalties enforced by the local authority for failure to comply.
Whatever the change in deadline, it’s important that landlords remain clear about their requirements in respect of EPCs. So, by way of reminder, the current position is:
- Landlords must obtain a new EPC rating every ten years if it is marketed for sale or rent at that time.
- Since 1 April 2020, landlords cannot let or continue to let a property covered by the MEES Regulations (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard) with a rating below E, F or G unless there is a valid exemption in place.
- Landlords must serve an EPC on their tenant at the start of the tenancy. Failure to do so will prevent landlords from serving a valid Section 21 Notice.
Don’t forget to check the pre-tenancy documents on your portfolio and if no EPC has been served or there is no record of service, it would be prudent to arrange and retain the evidence of the service.