The rules around EPCs are changing and you need to act NOW to avoid incurring fines. An F or G rating will mean that it is unlawful for you to let your property and a low rating of C to E could impact your properties market value and ability to generate attractive rental income.
An EPC is an abbreviation for Energy Performance Certificate. An EPC is a certificate which displays the calculated energy rating for a domestic or commercial property.
An EPC can be obtained by contacting an accredited Assessor who will likely require information regarding the location, size and complexity of the building requiring an EPC, in order to give a quotation. Upon accepting the quotation, the assessor must visit the building and carry out a measured survey and collect data/photographic evidence of all lighting, constructions and heating/cooling plant. The assessor will then be required to use an approved software to model the building and calculate the rating that the building achieves. This will be presented in a standard layout, which is the Energy Performance Certificate.
Anybody who wishes to sell or lease a domestic or commercial property requires an EPC within 28 days of the property being placed on the market, or at the point of sale/signing of lease if a property is not marketed.
The scenarios where an EPC is not required are:
The rule change means that Landlords will not be able to rent out their property unless they have a valid EPC with an EPC rating of at least an E.
The rule change comes into effect in April 2018.
A property cannot be put onto the market for sale or lease without an EPC being in place and available for everyone to view. If an EPC is not in place when a property is for sale or lease, then it is certain that the solicitors dealing with the transaction will request a copy. This will delay the transaction while an assessor is instructed to produce the EPC. If the EPC turns out to be worse than an E rating then the property cannot be leased to the prospective tenant until remedial works are carried out to bring the building up to standard to achieve a rating of E or better.
For domestic properties, the penalty is £200. For non-domestic properties, the penalty is a sum equivalent to 12.5% of the rateable value of the building, subject to a minimum of £500 and a maximum of £5,000.
Domestic EPC prices vary from around £45-£75 for a typical single dwelling (up to 4 bedrooms). For bulk order EPCs, prices may drop as low as £35 per dwelling, depending on how many dwellings are required and how closely together they are located. Larger, more complex houses will cost more depending on the size of the dwelling. This could cost from £85-£250+ for extremely large properties.
For non-domestic properties, prices again vary, depending on the size and complexity of the building. Base prices start at around £145.00 for a small retail shop or small open plan industrial unit, and around £1,000 upwards for larger buildings.
Currently there is no minimum rating for an EPC to achieve. However, from the 1st April 2018 all domestic and non-domestic buildings must achieve a minimum of an E rating if being let.
Ratings are worked out using a standard software called iSBEM. All assessors use the same basic software. There are other softwares available though they all use the same iSBEM methodology. This is to ensure all assessors are consistent with ratings assessments regardless of the software they are using.
Yes, you can be re-assessed if you are not happy with the rating you have been given, though the rating from all assessors is likely to be more or less the same within given tolerances. However, as with all trades and professionals, there will always be a handful of assessors who may cut corners in order to get a job done quickly. All assessors are accredited and audited in order to prevent this happening, so the vast majority of assessors will produce an accurate rating.