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Landlords Legally Required To Have Energy Performance Certificates

Where properties are rented out, a landlord is responsible for ensuring a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is made available to all prospective tenants.

The EPC and recommendation report must be made available free of charge by a landlord to a prospective tenant at the earliest opportunity 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;
• when a viewing is conducted;
• if neither of those occur, before entering into a contract to sell or let.

Failure to do so results in the landlord risking a £200 fine.

An Energy Performance Certificate does not have to be made available if: -

• the landlord believes that the prospective tenant is unlikely to have sufficient funds to purchase or rent the property or is not genuinely interested in renting that type of property.
• the landlord is unlikely to be prepared to rent out the property to the prospective or tenant (although this does not authorise unlawful discrimination).

Rental properties require an EPC from 1st October 2008. An EPC for rented property is valid for ten years at a cost of circa £75 to £80.

An EPC should not be viewed as just an administrative hoop or additional cost as it includes advice as to how a property’s energy efficiency rating may be improved and in turn costs reduced.

The only person who is able to produce an Energy Performance Certificate is an accredited energy assessor. They may be employed by a company (such as an estate agent of energy company) or be independent traders. Always check they operate as part of an accreditation scheme, as this ensures your energy assessor is operating to professional standards.

To be an energy assessor and produce energy certificates and air conditioning inspections they need to belong to an accreditation scheme as well as having the appropriate qualifications or experience and learning.

The accreditation schemes control the quality of energy assessments, DECs and advisory reports by ensuring energy assessors are competent and have the appropriate skills to conduct assessments.

To become a member of an accreditation scheme, energy assessors need to: -

• demonstrate that they have a recognised qualification from an awarding body or approved prior experience and learning equivalent to the National Occupational Standard requirements.
• maintain appropriate professional indemnity cover
• ensure they update their skills and knowledge regularly
• particpiate in the accreditation body's quality assurance procedures
• abide by the scheme's advice and guidance

Click here for a list of accredited schemes

Whilst landlords that have tenants in place are not breaking the law if their properties do not have an EPC, it may be advisable to obtain one to minimise the void period should they find themselves seeking a new tenant.

Date of Article: 12th December 2008

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This domain is owned by Warr & Co Chartered Accountants which is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW). Whilst the information detailed here is updated regularly to ensure it remains factually correct, it does not in any way constitute specific advice and no responsibility shall be accepted for any actions taken directly as a consequence of reading it. If you would like to discuss any of the points raised and / or engage our services in providing advice specific to your personal circumstances, please feel free to contact Peter Edwards on 0161 477 6789 or email us at