Energy Performance Certificate rules change from 6th April

by Sarah Ashcroft

Buy-to-let landlords are being reminded that environmental laws on property rentals are being tightened up soon. All privately-rented homes in the UK must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), setting out the efficiency and environmental impact of a property.

From April 6th, landlords will have just seven days to produce an EPC after they have started marketing the property for new tenants following the end of the previous tenancy agreement, rather than the current 28 days.

In addition, the full report will have to be provided to prospective tenants. Currently, landlords need only furnish tenants with a graph showing energy efficiency.

"EPCs give tenants vital information about the energy efficiency of their property and also contain an estimate of their utility bills," says David Salusbury, chairman of the National Landlords Association.

"They also help landlords make informed decisions about how to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties by recommending improvements."

The reforms are all part of the government's attempts to ensure the nation's housing stock is as energy efficient as possible. With rising gas and electricity costs to consider, landlords are seemingly keen to get on board.

Landlords have clearly been "doing their bit", adds Mr Salusbury, noting that 54 per cent recently told the NLA in a survey that they had made energy efficiency improvements to their properties in the past 12 months.

"These changes mean that it is even more important for landlords to have a fast and efficient supplier of EPCs," adds Nigel Hoath from NLA EPCs. "An effective EPC assessment will give a landlord a comprehensive report of the property’s energy consumption which complies with these new government regulations."

An EPC is not required if the property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). However, an EPC is required if the HMO is being sold, the NLA explains.

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Published on: March 29, 2012

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