From the 1st October 2008, a new law has been put into place stating that all homes due to be let out need to have an EPC. As a landlord/lady you will be responsible for purchasing the EPC and it should be readily available to your tenants. So just what is an EPC and why is it so important?
Understanding the EPC
EPC is short for “Energy Performance Certificate” and it basically shows landlords, tenants and letting agents the energy efficiency of their home. Each certificate will give the home a grade and typically that runs from A to G. A is the highest score that a home can receive and it means that the home has excellent energy efficiency. These days the average score of a home in the UK is D.
The main reason why it has become so important to have an EPC is because there is more concern these days over how much energy each household is wasting. The planet is in trouble and global warming is quite a big issue throughout the world. So the government are constantly trying to raise our awareness of how much energy we are all using and what can be done about it. By seeing how energy efficient your home is, it will help you to decide whether improvements should be made.
EPC’s and Letting
As mentioned earlier, EPC’s are needed by all landlords after the laws changed in October 2008. Once you have an EPC it will be valid for 10 years. Within that time you can choose to make improvements to the home to make it more energy efficient and then a new EPC can be obtained.
If you plan to let out your home then you will need to present the EPC to the lettings specialist agency. They will not always use it in their advertisement for new tenants, but if the score is quite good then they could use it to earn you more rent.
As people become more aware of energy efficiency, many tenants may be prepared to pay a little extra each month to live in a more energy efficient property. This is because not only is it good for the environment, but the more energy efficient the home is, the more money will be saved on electricity and other utility bills.
A lettings specialist agency will be able to help you get the information that you need regarding EPC’s. It is worth pointing out that if you only plan to rent out one room, you will not need an EPC. It is only needed if the tenant will be living alone in the property.
Overall once you have made the decision to let out your home, you should contact a lettings specialist agency to help you to obtain an EPC. Lettings agencies can be extremely helpful and they will help you to use the EPC to your advantage, as well as taking care of the entire letting process.