EPC’s required for Rented Property

EPC - Energy Performance rating chart

Are you a property landlord who wonders “how do the EPC regulations apply to me?”

Riley Marshall looks at Energy Performance Certificates in rented housing, what you need to know as a landlord and how it can even benefit you.

What is an EPC?

EPC’s or Energy Performance Certificates details information on typical energy use and costs for a property. They have been introduced to make clear to potential tenants and purchasers what energy usage is like on each property when comparing properties on the market for sale or rent. This means they can make an informed decision about whether to proceed with a purchase or tenancy.

It allows at-a-glance comparisons between properties, by grading the property on a scale of A to G – where A is most energy efficient, and G is the least efficient. (The picture at the top of this page shows this chart that makes up part of the report.) The rating is similar to those that are supplied with electrical goods such as fridges, which we are all familiar with now.

The report details which energy saving measures could be implemented to make property more efficient. It will make recommendations on which works are suggested and what that could save the occupier money. There is also a ‘potential’ grading, which shows what could be achieved if energy saving measures – such as insulating a loft – were carried out.

I am a landlord, why do I need an EPC?

An EPC is a legal requirement for any property that is newly-built, or placed on the market for sale or to rent in the UK. If you are a property owner and you need an EPC you must use an accredited domestic energy assessor DEA who will assess your property and provide the certificate. The cost will vary depending on the size of the property and the area it is located. They are valid for 10 years.

Do all properties need EPC’s?

Yes, even if they are newly built, all properties will need an EPC as soon as they come on the market for sale or rent. Where a building has been split into individual units an EPC will be required for each unit that has a heating system.

What is a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA)?

Approved DEA’s are registered with the government scheme. The government have appointed Landmark to run the website for this scheme and details can be found here www.epcregister.com. You can opt out of displaying your own property on this site, but agents who are offering your property for sale or rent will be obliged to publish it on their website. Potential purchasers or tenants are entitled to a copy of an EPC.

What does my managing agent do?

Your Letting Agent can usually recommend contractors and can even arrange an EPC for you with a Domestic Energy Assessor. You ca can find your own, but you should check that they are members of an accredited scheme to ensure they are qualified, insured and competent, and that the certificate will be valid.

What do I need to do with the information on the report?

The recommendations made in the report are voluntary. As we write this post you are not obliged to carry out any of the works on the report, it is just for information. Obviously as the Government passes further legislation to make us greener as a nation, this may change.

What else do I need to know?

If you have had an EPC issued you can use the reference number to check out how much money and carbon emissions you can save by going to the online EPC Advisor http://epcadviser.direct.gov.uk. For more information visit the Government webpages about EPC’s and selling/renting property. 

Does my rental property qualify for the Green Deal?

If you decide to take action based on the report, then some improvements may qualify for funding through the governments ‘Green Deal’ initiative. This is a scheme which aims to reduce the national carbon emissions and make homes more energy efficient. The Green Deal launched in October 2012 and allows people to make energy-saving improvements to their property, without having to pay for the work up front. The cost will be added to the electricity bills for that property and spread over time. When the occupier moves on the debt will stay with the property, because the energy saving is also staying with the property. Further details on the Green Deal are available on our ‘Green Deal – energy improvements ‘for free’’ blog.

Advertisements

Is your Olympic let legal?

Many landlords are not aware of the legislation in place affecting those who intend to rent out properties during the Games, we answer the question “What are the legalities of renting during the Olympics?”

It is relatively straightforward for people to rent out rooms in their own homes during the period but if you have a whole property to rent out, proceed with caution. London Councils have different rules regarding renting out self-contained properties.

Contact your local planning department about the rules regarding lets of less than 90 days. Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Camden and Tower Hamlets charge £335 for a planning application to change use from Residential to Temporary Sleeping Accommodation. However it appears if you live in Southwark you may not need permission although you should contact them to discuss your plans. Their website states

… the council will not actively be taking enforcement action against those who rent out their homes as a one-off during the Olympics. http://www.southwark.gov.uk/info/100007/housing/2577/renting_out_your_home_during_the_olympics 25/06/2012

If you have a mortgage on your property you will need the permission of the mortgage company to let out your house, and you should make it clear to them that it is a short term let.

You must notify your insurer of your plans or you will not be covered. Landlords should be clear about what their insurers will cover if the property is let on short term lets, as it may not be as comprehensive as when it is owner occupied.

Landlords will need to have a Gas Safe Engineer carry out safety checks on any gas appliances and issue a Gas Safety Certificate. Fixed wiring systems should be checked for safety and any electrical equipment PAT tested to ensure they are safe for a tenants use as this proves due diligence.

Unlike longer term tenancies, where tenants would expect to bring some of their own belongings, properties will need to be fully furnished to the level that would be expected in an hotel, including crockery, kitchen utensils, bedlinen etc. The rent may include the bills as it will not be practical to register tenants for utilities – although it might be practical to read meters and charge accordingly for usage.

Landlords must be aware that they are taking a risk with items that are left in place. Anything valuable should be removed (including any of a sentimental value). It is advisable to take a deposit from tenants against damage, but accidents do happen and sometimes money alone cannot compensate for loss.

Having the money to visit the Games and pay a high level of rent does not guarantee that the tenant will be wholly reliable or responsible either, so treat the transaction as a business arrangement. Be aware of what might go wrong, limit the damage that could be done, and do not get personally involved. It is a good idea to employ an agent to oversee the legal process, compile and check inventories and deal with tenants checking in and out.

You should also be aware that some developments have Head Leases that prevent subletting on a short term basis, and may Assured Shorthold tenancies will not allow the tenant to sub-let. You should check with your Management Company or landlord before making arrangements to let. While Council tenants are not able to sublet their property, and if they are found doing so they may face eviction.

Earnings from renting out property must be declared to the tax office.

Riley Marshall Estate agents are able to give you advice to stay legal if you are considering renting your property in the short term.  Please contact us on info@rileymarshall.co.uk with your question.

Landlords tell your Tenants

If you own property in an area that will be affected by the Olympic and Paralympic Games then you may want to send your tenants this blog page.

Temporary parking restrictions during the Olympics

Now that the Olympics is becoming a concrete structure in our lives – literally and metaphorically – our mind is turning to the practicalities that surround those of us who live and work around the venue sites.

In case you are not aware of what is about to happen to your free on-street parking this guide aims to enlighten and inform.

The Olympic Games start on Friday 27th July until Sunday 12th August, followed by the Paralympic Games from Wednesday 29th August until Friday 9th September.

There will be temporary parking restrictions around the Games Venues to prioritise parking facilities for local residents and businesses, and to prevent spectators from using local on-street parking. Obviously London is going to be most affected by the volume of visitors, but other areas will also have changes to their parking arrangements too.

There are different permit arrangements in different areas and the official 2012 website has a list detailing what they are Click Here.

Most people who live in these areas will have had information about parking changes through their door, but if like me you don’t read all of the community news pamphlets, then you may have noticed some red and white blocks appearing at the end of your street. These will hold signs stating the temporary regulations for parking that will occur during the Olympic and Paralympic period.

The local borough councils are aiming to link up the DVLA records with their Council Tax information to ensure that local residents and business are automatically issued with permits. It is recommended that if you haven’t received these in the next two weeks then you should contact your local authority.

Procedures are in place for those who live in an affected area but whose car is registered elsewhere, (for instance if you have a company car), and in this instance you should contact your local council to register your vehicle. This can be done online.

In addition to these measures London Councils are recommending an increase in illegal parking fines to £200 and will be prioritising towing vehicles that are illegally parked in order to keep the highways as free as possible.

Residents and local businesses are also entitled to visitors parking permits for the duration of the temporary parking. Details of when this will be and how many will be issued is yet to be released.

These changes affect street parking only. Parking in your private driveway will remain unaffected. If you currently live in a controlled parking zone then your permit arrangements will remain unaffected.

It is not yet clear what will happen about house removals in these areas but for up to date information on this we can recommend checking in with ICM Gerson who have a very informative blog about the industry.

Riley Marshall Blog

Specialising in lettings and property management in South East London including the likes of Bermondsey, Rotherhithe, Canary Wharf, Greenwich and surrounding areas

Riley Marshall is a dynamic letting agency which provides a personal, professional and considerate service which counters all the stereotypes within the industry. With pride and integrity as our driving principles we offer comprehensive services in lettings and property management in South East London and Docklands.

We welcome your comments on our posts.Riley Marshall