Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Guide For Landlords

Energy `performance certificate (EPC)

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What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

The certificate will give each building a SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) rating, and this will equate to an energy rating from A to G (A is very efficient and G is very inefficient), similar to those already seen on white goods. In layman’s terms, the certificate will show the energy efficiency levels of a property, so a prospective tenant is able to determine and compare the relative financial running costs of renting your property. The certificate will include the following information:

  • An estimation of the energy the property potentially uses
  • Fuel costs i.e. an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power the property
  • Details of potentially savings that could be made if energy efficiency improvements are made
  • Carbon dioxide emissions
  • Details of the person who carried out the assessment
  • Who to contact for complaints

The EPC is formed by a qualified Energy Assessor making a visit to your rental property and gathering vital information about the property in order to produce the certificate.

This is an example of what an EPC looks like:
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Example

Do I need an EPC / Landlord requirements?

From the 1st of October 2008, Landlords in England & Wales must provide an Energy Performance Certificate to all new and prospective tenants. The certificates (EPCs) should be provided at no cost to prospective tenants and should be shown before any tenancy is formed i.e. during the viewing.

Section 21
From October 2015, if landlords in England (not Wales) fail to show prospective tenants a valid EPC, they will not be complying with the new Section 21 rules, therefore will not be able to serve a valid Section 21 notice. A landlord must serve a valid Section 21 notice tenants if they wish to legally terminate the tenancy, so it is crucial to comply with the legislation.

Minimum rating
From April 2018, landlords will be required to achieve a minimum rating of E on the EPC for their rental property. Unless there is an accepted exemption, landlords face a penalty of up to £4,000 for failure to meet the minimum efficiency grade.

General rules
Each property is required to have it’s own EPC’s, it is not based on a “per tenant” or “per landlord” basis. However, where a tenant sub-lets a dwelling, the responsibility to make an EPC available lies with the sub-leaseholder.

Landlords and agents need to have an EPC within seven days or marketing a property or risk getting a penalty from Trading Standards.

If you have a lodger an EPC is not required.

Where can I get an Energy Performance Certificate from?

The certificate must be produced by an accredited energy surveyor. There are plenty of providers around. All you need to do is Google something like, “Energy Performance Certificates provider [insert county]”

However, I’ve often ordered mine online from lettingaproperty.com – Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for £69 (VAT inc). That includes everything! It’s easy and convenient. If the property is located in Scotland, the price is £99 (VAT inc).

SupplierPriceNotes / Includes
Price
£69*Inc VAT
Notes / Includes
Energy Performance Certificates are issued once a full energy assessment of your rental property has been completed by a qualified Energy Assessor.

*If the property is located in Scotland, the price is £99 (VAT inc).

More Info

It’s important to ensure that the independent energy assessor you use is a current member of an accreditation scheme, as this ensures your energy assessor is operating to professional standards.

An EPC is only authentic if issued by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA).

What’s the purpose of the certificate?

The EPC highlights two key areas about a rental property:

  • The energy efficiency rating (this is based on how much the home would cost to run). Essentially though, this will largely depend on the lifestyle of the tenants.
  • The environmental impact rating (this is based on how much carbon dioxide is released into the environment because of the home)

The rating is based on factors like age, property layout, construction, heating, lighting, and insulation. The ratings are standard so a tenant can compare the energy efficiency of one rental property with another, which may influence their decision when picking a property to rent.

What is the average energy rating of a house?

The typical rating for a home is D or E.

How much does an EPC cost?

I’ve seen them as cheap as £50, but I’ve also seen them priced at £100. It ultimately depends on the location of the property, from what I’m aware. However, I would definitely shop around for quotes, because it is competitive out there.

As said, you can order one online from lettingaproperty.com for £69 (VAT inc). If the property is located in Scotland, the price is £99 (VAT inc).

How often do EPCs need to be renewed?

Each certificate will last for 10 years unless major renovation work is carried out on the property. Property owners can voluntarily get a new certificate after installation of energy efficiency measures – particularly if these improve the energy rating.

If a newer EPC has been produced for a home within the ten year period, only the most recent one is valid.

What does an Energy Inspection involve?

Booking an Energy Inspection is like booking any other appointment; a convenient time will be arranged to visit the rental property.

During the assessment the assessor will inspect the property and collect information such as external and/or internal measurements, details about the construction, and the type of heating/hot water used in your property. In order to gather the information, the assessor will need to access all rooms, the boiler and the loft.

The assessment of a 3 bed property typically takes up to 60 minutes; larger or complex properties can take longer.

After the assessment, the assessor will send you the EPC and recommendation report. The recommendation report will contain recommendations of how the property’s energy efficiency can be improved. Each recommendation will be accompanied by the typical cost savings per year as well as what the performance rating could be after improvements are made.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating / Do I have to improve the efficiency of my property?

If the recommendation report comes back with suggestions to improve the efficiency of your rental property, you are currently NOT legally obligated to act on any of the recommendations. However, from 1st April 2018, landlords will be legally obligated to make energy efficiency improvements if the report comes back with a report lower than a grade E for new tenancies and renewals, unless the landlord qualifies for an exemption and the exemption is registered on the Public Exemptions Register.

This means that if your EPC report comes back with a rating of F or G, you are legally required to make energy efficiency improvements. Sure enough, the minimum required of an E rating will be required for ALL existing tenancies from April 2020.

To clarify the meaning of “new” and “renewed” tenancy – if any of the following occur after 1st April 2018, you will be obligated to achieve the minimum required rating:

  • You issue/create a new assured tenancy, including a shorthold
  • You renew or extend an existing assured tenancy, including a shorthold, by agreement with the tenant.
  • A fixed term tenancy agreement rolls into a statutory periodic tenancy
  • A new assured tenancy by succession comes into existence when a family member takes over a Rent Act protected tenancy
  • A new tenancy is granted to a Rent Act protected tenant of the same or a different property owned by the same landlord
  • An agricultural occupancy or similar tenancy is granted, renewed or extended

As of April 2016, tenants are allowed to ask permission from their landlord to undertake energy efficiency improvements on their privately rented property. The idea is that it will help them reduce their running costs.

Improving energy efficiency

The top five recommendations given by assessors for improving energy efficiency have been:

  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Using low energy lighting
  • Using thermostatic valves on radiators
  • Loft insulation
  • Double glazing windows

What are the penalties if I do not provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

The provision of EPCs is enforced by the Trading Standards department of the local authority. If they receive a complaint that an EPC has not been provided they can impose a penalty charge on you of £200 for each breach. As also discussed, in the ‘Landlord requirements’ section above, landlords can face a penalty of up to £4,000 for not meeting the minimum rating of E.

EPC Release Form

In light of changes to the Section 21 legislation on October 2015 for Landlords in England, it is imperative landlords show prospective tenants a valid EPC before a tenancy agreement is entered.

In order to protect myself, I make prospective tenants sign a release form, which confirms that they have been provided with a valid EPC. You can download a copy by entering your name and email address below.









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68 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 18 - 68 comments (out of 68)
Guest Avatar
Mike D 28th August, 2013 @ 20:00

Elaine

I cannot comment on the electrical side of the move but this would not effect the EPC, so no need for a new one.

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Jack McCabe 5th September, 2013 @ 09:31

All Landlords & Tenants,

I am a technical surveyor supplying contracts for Tempo Insulation, we have funding for the ECO Grants where everybody is entitled to free cavity wall insulation and free loft top up depending on your property types (Cavity wall/Solid wall/narrow cavity etc) and even in some cases a free boiler, NO CATCHES, free survey, free EPC, free installation.

Tenants need Landlords permission.

Please get in contact for a free, no obligation survey. (energygrants2013@live.com)

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Colin Burt 18th November, 2013 @ 09:19

I was not shown an energy certificate at the time of signing the rental agreement. It was sent by email much later when I complained because the bungalow was so cold. At what stage must the landlord/agent have to show it to avoid the £250.00 fine . The agent is saying it is not an offence if he did not show it, only if there is not one. Is he correct, please?

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Phil Smith 18th November, 2013 @ 09:34

The agent is correct. I wonder whether most tenants know of the existence of the EPC!

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Mike D 18th November, 2013 @ 10:42

Yes, there appears to be nothing in the Law to say the tenant/purchaser HAS to have 'sight' of the EPC...this is another flaw in the system. Agents do not seem to have any respect for the EPC - nor their clients!!!

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Colin Burt 18th November, 2013 @ 18:15

I am disappointed because the agent is getting away with something he should have shown me as I would not have rented had I known that there was no effective wall or loft insulation. Now the agent and landlord are withholding the deposit money because I did not paint over the filled in injection holes in the walls after British gas contractors insulated the walls under a grant system. The landlady gave permission for loft and wall insulation to be done if it did not cost her anything.

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Epcrating.co.uk 9th March, 2014 @ 22:15

Improving your energy efficiency starts with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPCrating.co.uk) . An EPC shows 2 ratings the energy efficiency rating and environmental impact of a building on a scale ranging from A - G. Some energy saving measures will be eligible for full or partial funding such as new A rated boilers ,loft insulation etc...Find out more visit epcrating.co.uk or call us were happy to help 0755 1234 222

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Lynsey 7th June, 2014 @ 08:40

I am currently buying a house to let and just wondered as we need to have an EPC, is the EPC transferable and if so is there a cost?

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Phil Smith 7th June, 2014 @ 09:57

It is the seller's responsibility to provide the EPC, not yours! The EPC is valid for 10 years from the date it was issued, even if drastic changes have been made to the property since. So when you come to let the house you won't need to get another one. However, if improvements have been made to the house since the EPC was first issued it will look more attractive to any prospective tenant if you have the EPC updated to reflect these changes. As for cost, my fee is £55, no VAT, but you will find that you can get one cheaper. If you look at the EPC price page on my web site www.wirralepcs.com you will see how this is done.

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Mesur 7th June, 2014 @ 14:00

Here in South Wales, EPCs can be ordered for £40-45 direct.

However, National Companies, such as EPC Portal, charge their clients around £95, but only pay £25 to the DEA who produces the certificate no matter how big the house or how far away. Possibly, Letting A Property follows the same practice, employing a subbie' DEA and paying them very little for all the work. Someone is making some money!!! ANSWER? GO LOCAL & SUPPORT LOCAL ENTERPRISE!!!!

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christine coffey 4th February, 2015 @ 00:21

Hi - we rent a property in Scotland, from the National Trust. The cottage is a Grade A listed property. We weren't given an EPC when we moved in to our home in August 2013, and there isn't one on display anywhere in the cottage. I have tried to find out if one has ever been done but seem to be going around in circles. Whilst there is a website which can be searched for properties in Scotland, it can only be searched with the EPC number. Unlike England, it cannot be searched on the address / postcode. We don't know if we should have an EPC with it being a listed property but if so, how can we find out if one has been issued without relying on the 'word' of the landlord who stated it 'wasn't available' when we moved in. Please can anyone advise? Many thanks.

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The Energy Backyard 18th August, 2015 @ 16:59

Hi

I am a domestic energy assessor, providing EPC on the spot accepting card payments.

To answer your question, it is likely your property do not need an EPC. I quote:
an EPC is not required if the building is officially protected as part of a designated environment or because of their special architectural or historic merit where compliance with certain minimum energy efficiency requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance.

You can check it here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-performance-certificates-for-the-construction-sale-and-let-of-dwellings

I think most of the questions people have about EPCs can be solve with that guidance.

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Laurence 29th September, 2015 @ 11:20

It is must to have a EPC, as will help you in increasing value of your property.

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Adam 1st June, 2016 @ 18:27

My landlord has not provided an EPC/Gas safety certificate or a smoke/carbon monoxide detector in the 2 years I have lived there and has issued me with a section 21 notice. Where do I stand?

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Phil Smith 1st June, 2016 @ 18:46

The landlord is responsible for providing the EPC, not the tenant. If you have lived there 2 years there has to be one. Check the EPC register at www.epcregister.com. From April 2016 tenants have a right to expect improvements recommended on the EPC to be put in place.

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Phil Smith 1st June, 2016 @ 18:59

Just for clarification - I don't however see any connection between the landlord not providing EPC/gas safety certificate/smoke/carbon monoxide detector and the issuing of a Section 21 notice!

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Adam 1st June, 2016 @ 19:44

Because after reading the new legislation I cannot be issued a section 21 notice if I do not have an EPC or gas safety certificate. I'd this not the case?

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Rachel 20th October, 2016 @ 19:59

We have not been shown an EPC either and the property is not listed on the govt online register - does this mean there isn't one or are they not always uploaded?

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Sarah 23rd November, 2016 @ 13:50

I have rented a house from a friend for three years, and at present they do not have an EPC. Do they still have to get one midway through tenancy?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 23rd November, 2016 @ 15:40

@Adam
That's true.

@Rachel
They may not have uploaded one. But you should have been shown a copy during the viewing, or at least certainly before the tenancy begins.

@Sarah
Yes, they should, just for the sake of having one. But unfortunately, irreversible damage is already done!

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Janet 5th June, 2017 @ 11:43

We had an EPC when we bought our property 4 yrs ago and have since upgraded the heating system with programmer, stats, etc. We are now renting our property and our agent has told us we need to upgrade certain aspects on the EPC to qualify under the new regulations in April 2018 otherwise we cannot rent. Is it our responsibility to purchase another EPC ro prove it falls within the criteria needed to rent out ?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 5th June, 2017 @ 13:20

@Janet
As mentioned in the blog post above, the new regulations means the EPC grade must be at least E from April 2018.

What is the current rating on your EPC? If it is E or better, than you don't really need to worry, I guess.

But if you wish to reflect your new rating (assuming it has improved since you made the upgrades) in the EPC, then yes, it is your responsibility to get the assessment/EPC renewed.

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Kaushal Shah 10th November, 2017 @ 07:45

I have a stone building of 1860 and it has 6 flats all given on rent.

Its will be extremly difficult to carry out changes required in such old building to obtain EPC

Is there a way out if yes kindly advice.

Thanks

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Phil Smith 10th November, 2017 @ 11:39

I would suggest that you get an EPC carried out on just one flat ( which would be indicative of all six ) and take it from there. You don't actually need an EPC until a tenant moves out but it would wise to know in advance if anything needs upgrading to give yourself time to investigate costs.

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Diane 1st December, 2017 @ 13:49

Bought a property with a D cetificate.Have fitted new A reg boiler,renewed all pipe work,new radiators with thermostatic valves,new programmer,new double glazing,roof insulation,low energy lightbulbs .Even put in new A reg ceramic hob and A rated oven.Still a D.Can anyone explain this to me?
Recomendations were solar heating!! and external insulation.This is a mid terraced house,for goodness sake.
What else can I do to improve efficiency and rating?
Very unhappy

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Phil Smith 1st December, 2017 @ 21:50

Hi Diane,
Haven't you asked the person who did the EPC?
Phil

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Diane 4th December, 2017 @ 10:43

Thank you Phil.I have had contact with him.It transpires that a solid walled property like this,built round about 1920, will not get higher than a D rating without inner wall insulation,even a mid terrace. As so many rental properties are this kind of house ,I worry if the govt. intends to raise the ratings required over time.Looking at the new EPC, I have raised it from 59 to 64,and that is with all the work I have done.

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Theresa 2nd January, 2018 @ 20:15

We had an accessor round and gave us a g rating, so how long until the landlord acts upon this, we have lived in this rental for 5yrs

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Benji 3rd January, 2018 @ 10:06

@Theresa,
1st April 2020 for existing tenancies- for properties that are not exempt.

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Leon 4th February, 2018 @ 16:36

My landlord thinks that they don't need an EPC as our tenancy started before October 2008 although I think that they should have one by April 2020 to comply with the law. Trouble is we both know that it's unlikely to achieve an E or above rating due to being oil fired heating / hot water with solid walls, large amounts of glazing and vaulted ceilings that could probably be better insulated - but we both know what we've got and are happy with the current situation.

Is the property exempt due to the start date of the tenancy or is there a way that they could claim exemption as if they are forced to make improvements they will simply give us notice and let the property run to ruin but we love it here and are probably more keen for the property to be exempt or pass than the landlord is.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

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Phil Smith 5th February, 2018 @ 10:05

You are correct. If you are still in the property come April 1, 2020 then an EPC will be required with a rating of E or above. Exemptions are possible on the grounds that the cost of improvement is prohibitive but the route is tortuous. If I were the landlord I would get an EPC done sooner rather than later so as to give time to assess these costs and if appropriate apply for exemption right away. I would also carry out all the obvious low cost measures before the first EPC in case the property makes the E rating anyway as at the moment without an EPC you have no idea how it will come out.

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Alison girling 10th March, 2018 @ 19:18

I have a mid terrace property over 100 yrs old one up one down originally but has been extended downstairs. I bought it off a builder as he renovated it and so have photographic evidence of wall insulation on the extension as I also have evidence of lagging in the false ceiling in the extension as well as the loft. It is fully double glazed. The water tank is fully lagged and low energy bulbs are fitted. My agent contacted me to say I need to have a further epc because it was done before the house was renovated and was currently a g. I’ve had an epc done and it’s come back as an f. The assessor has a problem with the elnur heating system instdlled as he took out storage heaters and replaced them with modern heaters. He now wants me to take the heaters out and replace them with storage heaters and it us the only way I will get an e. Anybody have any advice please. Could I apply for an exemption ?

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paula swainston 22nd March, 2018 @ 16:27

I started my tenancy in Feb 2014, I didn't get an EPC nor did I know I could ask for one. Would my Landlord need to provide me with with the new changes coming into effect. My house is more than likely below a E grade due to failed window units, 20 year old boiler, windows not sealed properly, any advice would be much appreciated, thanks

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Phil Smith 22nd March, 2018 @ 17:09

Find the EPC on www.epcregister.com and take it from there.

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Phil Smith 22nd March, 2018 @ 17:29

Alison,
Installing modern heaters was not a wise option and I am sure that the original EPC would not have recommended this. However, does the new EPC recommend any other possible ways of improving the current rating? Modern electric heaters may be cheap for the landlord and an easy sell for the salesman, having low installation/maintenance costs,but they are costly for the tenant to run - hence not favourable to RdSAP which is all about fuel economy!
Re an exemption, I believe that you will need to prove that storage heaters are too expensive over a 7 year pay back period to get one.

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Paula Swainston 22nd March, 2018 @ 17:52

Hi Phil,

I've checked the register and there's no certificate for my address

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Phil Smith 22nd March, 2018 @ 18:25

Hi Paula,

If you only moved into the property in Feb 2014 this would have triggered the EPC requirement. If you had have moved in before December 2007 then it was not a requirement then and even now wouldn't be until you move out. ( In April 2020 it will become a requirement anyway ) As you did move into the property in Feb 2014 an EPC should have been done then, or earlier if there had been a change of tenancy between December 2007 and Feb 2014.
If I were you I would ask the landlord if you could see the EPC without letting on that you already know that there isn't one and see what he says.

Phil

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Heidi 28th March, 2018 @ 10:22

Hi,
I moved into a property March 2013 and do not recall receiving an EPC with my tenancy,I am due to sign a new tenancy agreement but can not find a current EPC for the property. The EPC's I have found online do not line up to the flats in the property. Does there have to be a valid EPC before a tenancy can be signed? Thanks

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Lydia Heights 5th April, 2018 @ 00:06

I’m looking for a new buy to let and have found a beautiful flat but it’s EPC is F, with a potential of F. Does this mean the EPC cannot be improved, so I shouldn’t buy it?

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Phil Smith 5th April, 2018 @ 06:56

Hi Lydia,
It is the vendor's responsibility to improve the rating to an E before he sells it. The EPC itself will show what measures can be done to achieve this. My guess is that it's all electric which equates to high running costs.

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Phil Smith 5th April, 2018 @ 07:00

Hi Heidi,
The answer to your question is yes. A valid EPC would be one up to 10 years old!

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Benji 5th April, 2018 @ 10:33

"It is the vendor's responsibility to improve the rating to an E before he sells it."

No it isn't.

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Phil Smith 5th April, 2018 @ 19:13

"It is the vendor's responsibility to improve the rating to an E before he sells it."

No it isn't.

See

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/669587/Domestic_Private_Rented_Landlord_Guidance_-_Updated_Version.pdf

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Benji 6th April, 2018 @ 08:48

@Phil Smith,

I've seen the link and there is nothing in it about improving the rating before selling.
It only applies to lettings.

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Phil Smith 6th April, 2018 @ 18:52

Exactly my point. Lydia wants to buy to let.

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Simon Pambin 7th April, 2018 @ 10:52

Surely, then, it's not the vendor's legal responsibility to improve the rating. All he's doing is selling the property on the open market: it makes no difference to him what the eventual purchaser intends to do with the property.

There may be a commercial argument in favour of the vendor's improving the EPC rating, but I don't see a legal one.

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Benji 7th April, 2018 @ 21:16

@Phil,

You don't have a point, you're talking shit.

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Jon 18th April, 2018 @ 22:33

I prefer spending my money on good food and resentment paying rent to my landlord. It's a band E on the epc. Shall I be honest and just tell him I'd rather blow the rent on fine fine dining or make up some excuse that due to the epc being a E, it's too expensive to heat and could be a health risk?

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Simon Pambin 19th April, 2018 @ 12:05

You may as well be honest: a rating of E is above the minimum standard for letting, and presumably you were given a copy of the EPC at the start of the tenancy so it's not grounds to break the agreement. Besides, how much heating are you going to use in the next six months?

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Ash 25th April, 2018 @ 14:48

Hi
Could anyone help if a property has been let to the same tenant for over 15 years and continue with their tenancy. Is an EPC minimum standard required by 2020 if an EPC has never been done?
Is the minimum standard by 2020 only necessary if an EPC already exists

Many Thanks
Helen

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Mrs 8th June, 2018 @ 21:20

I don't like paying rent. I'm from yorkshire and would like to find any excuse not to pay it as I'm saving up for a new Mercedes. My epc is a band d which quite frankly, the landlord should upgrade to an a band so I can put the savings towards my car. These landlords have too much money anyway.whats the best excuse to get him to spend his money on improving the epc. Can I threaten him with the local paper?

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