Information for Landlords, the Social and Private Sector*
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards
What is it?
From the 1st of April 2018, it will be unlawful to let a property with an EPC rating of F or G.
This legislation was put in place to meet obligations to improve our worst performing properties in terms of energy efficiency and to meet CO2 targets in the UK.
Who does this affect?
This will affect Private Rental Sector (PRS) landlords when a lease is granted to a new tenant and renewals to existing tenants.
What needs to be done to comply?
The property needs to be brought up to minimum energy efficiency standard of an EPC rating of E or above, and this can be done by undertaking cost-effective home improvements.
What happens when there is non-compliance?
Fines may be issued for non-compliance, as well as public notification of the offence.
What are exemptions?
The below are possibilities, subject to case by case basis:
Improvements are not cost-effective
The improvements will decrease the value of the property by 5%or more, or damage the property
Third party consent cannot be obtained for the improvements (e.g. superior landlord)
What are tenants and landlords rights?
Tenants have the right to request reasonable and cost-effective improvements to their properties. Landlords cannot refuse unreasonably, but are protected against unreasonable requests. The tenant has the right to raise a case with the First-tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber should they suspect the landlord is non-compliant with the minimum energy standard.
An EPC will be required whenever a building in the social or private rented sectors is let to a new tenant.
• A building can be: the whole of a building; or part of a building where the part
is designed or altered to be used separately. For residential purposes, ‘designed
or altered to be used separately’ describes a unit that is self-contained, meaning
that it does not share essential facilities such as a bathroom/shower room, wc
or kitchen with any other unit, and that it has its own entrance, either from
outside or through common parts, that is not through another dwelling.
• Landlords must provide an EPC free of charge to prospective tenants at the
earliest opportunity and must provide a copy of the EPC to the person who
takes up the tenancy.
• The purpose of the EPC is to show prospective tenants the energy performance
of the dwelling they are considering renting.
• EPCs are valid for 10 years and can be reused as many times as required within
that period. It is not necessary to commission a new EPC each time there is a
change of tenant. However, once a more recent EPC has been produced for
a dwelling, it will always supersede an existing one. Thus, where a number
of EPCs are obtained for a property within the ten year period only the most
recent one is valid.
• An EPC is not required for any property that was occupied prior to 1 October
2008 and which continues to be occupied after that date by the same tenant.
However, landlords may commission EPCs for these dwellings if they wish.
• The EPC shows two things – the Energy Efficiency Rating (relating to running
costs) and the Environmental Impact Rating (relating to the carbon dioxide
emissions) of a dwelling. Each rating is shown on an A–G rating scale similar to
those used for fridges and other electrical appliances.
• The rating is accompanied by a recommendation report that shows how to
improve the dwelling’s energy efficiency. These two elements together form
the EPC and the complete document must be provided to the new tenant.
There is no statutory requirement to carry out any of the recommended energy
efficiency measures stated in the recommendation report.
• EPCs must be produced by an accredited assessor, but landlords are free to seek
accreditation for themselves and their employees and so become competent to
certify their own properties.
Which HMOs need an EPC?
There has been some confusion over how the regulations apply to HMOs, but guidance from Communities and Local Government is that landlords who have an HMO, with shared essential facilities (bathroom, shower, toilet and/ or kitchen) and who have individual tenancy agreements with their tenants do not need to provide an EPC unless they sell the house or let it as one whole dwelling, or convert it to self-contained units.
A mixed property with shared and self-contained units will require EPCs for the parts that are wholly self-contained.
Landlords of completely self-contained flats and those who let houses to a group of sharers (with one contract between all of the occupiers) do need to provide an EPC when they let to new tenants after 1st October 2008.
Raymond Evans is a fully accredited Domestic Energy Assessor with indemnity insurance and registered with Data Protection Act 1998 and can produce on request Basic Disclosure in accordance with Part V of the Police Act 1997.