When buildings are to be rented out, the landlord is responsible for ensuring a valid certificate is made available to all prospective tenants. The EPC report must be made available to all tenants at the earliest opportunity possible, with all costs being covered by the landlord. Prospective tenants are to receive the EPC free of charge and no later than:
when any written information about the building is provided in response to a request for information received from the prospective tenant; or
when a viewing is conducted; or
if neither of those occur, before entering into a contract to sell or let.
Landlords are not obliged to make the EPC available where:
The landlord doesn’t believe there is a genuine interest from the prospective tenant or feels they are unlikely to have sufficient funds to rent the property.
The landlord is not prepared to rent out the property to the prospective tenant (although this does not authorise unlawful discrimination).
The requirement is being introduced to comply with the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) which applies to all properties. Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) not only tell you how energy efficient a home is on a scale of A-G but also tells you, on a scale of A-G, about the impact the property has on the environment. The average property in the UK currently has a rating in bands ‘D-E’, with rating ‘A’ being the ideal target.
The EPC also gives you recommendations on how to improve the rating, not only to benefit the effect on the environment but to help homeowners save money on energy bills.
Factors such as age, size, location and condition of the property will all affect its rating. The recommendations made in the EPC will also consider these factors before tailoring suitable energy saving suggestions to each property.
EPCs are only available from accredited Energy assessors and the Landlords EPC will be valid for 10 years.