Landlords face penalties for EPC Non-Compliance by Heather Hilder on November 23, 2017 LANDLORDS – 1 APRIL 2018 APPROACHESDO YOU FACE PENALTIES FOR NON COMPLIANCE OF YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY?James Duffy MARLA, our Branch Manager, offers advice on in-coming regulations relating to EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) in April 2018.Q1. James, what is an EPC?It’s a document which provides information on the current energy efficiency of the property and its potential energy efficiency rating. The document includes recommendations and suggestions on how you can make your property the most energy efficient possible.Q2. What do the numbers mean?The ratings are letters from A-G, where A is the most efficient, and G the least energy efficient. There is a current rating column and potential rating column.Q3. What is all the fuss about EPCs at the moment?Landlords might be reading or hearing about the terminology ‘MEES’. This means ‘Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards’.From 1 April 2018, there will be a requirement for all properties in the Private Rented Sector to have a minimum rating ‘E’ on the EPC.Therefore from 1 April 2018 it will be UNLAWFUL to rent a property which is an F or G rating, UNLESS there is an applicable exemption.Q4. What happens if a Landlord doesn’t comply?Put simply, financial penalties for breaches!Q5. Does this apply to general householders?No, MEES only applies to the Private Rented Sector, at the moment.Q6. When does an EPC have to be provided?The property details for both sales and lettings should include the EPC Ratings for the specific property. Sales and Letting Agents should provide the buyer or tenant with the FULL ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE at the early stage of negotiations.Q7. Can you market a property before obtaining the EPC?It’s best practice to have an EPC in place before marketing although as long as one has been commissioned then the property can be marketed.Q8. What should Landlords who fail to have the minimum requirement on the EPC rating do now?Landlords with properties of F & G EPC ratings should start preparing NOW for 1 April next year. The first step is to speak to your qualified letting agent who will be able to guide you with regards to whether your property qualifies for an exemption; if it doesn’t then an energy assessor would need to be contracted to attend the property and provide advice. There will be on-costs for any work required to be carried out in time for 1 April 2018.Q9. Which buildings would be excluded?There are numerous – so I advise going to www.gov.ukQ10. What can be done to improve EPC ratings?There are a number of measures including loft/cavity wall insulation, double glazed windows, replacing old boilers with more efficient ones; draught-proofing – dependent on the property.Q11. How long are EPCs valid for?10 years.Q12. When did EPC regulations commence?EPCs have been a requirement for residential lettings since October 2008, therefore Landlords need to be mindful that their EPC could be expiring soon regardless of its rating!