Why EPCs are vital during the credit crunch

The news of rising fuels costs is constantly hitting the headlines and how increased prices are affecting householders' utility bills. As a landlord, you may think that this doesn't affect you as your tenants pay all of the bills, but with the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for rental property, all this has changed.

Since October 2008, any landlord who has a new tenant moving into their rental property must provide the tenant with an EPC.

An EPC rates the rental property's energy efficiency on a scale of A to G and it outlines the average costs of running the property. The Energy Performance Certificate recommends alterations which could be made to the rental property to improve the property's energy efficiency rating.

An Energy Performance Certificate for rental property lasts for ten years after it has been carried out. But landlords must make a copy of the EPC available to all prospective tenants during this time and provide a copy when tenants are moving into the property.

One of the benefits of an Energy Performance Certificate for landlords is that if you follow the EPC's recommendations to improve the property's efficiency (e.g. by installing a new boiler or insulating the loft), you could add value to your investment property.

You can also claim back £1,500 of the cost of making these alterations to your rental property through your tax return, by taking advantage of the Landlords Energy Savings Allowance (LESA).

The other advantage of EPCs for landlords is that if you do make your rental property more energy efficient, it could make your rental property more appealing for prospective tenants. Especially now that the credit crunch is biting and fuel costs are soaring, tenants may compare the energy bills of properties that they are looking at before they make a decision to move in.

Landlords who have properties that are less efficient may find them difficult to let, even though rental demand is increasing in the recent climate.

Landlords can obtain an Energy Performance Certificate from an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor.

Further EPC Information

Published on: July 1, 2008

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