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Is your property energy efficient?

Jane Riley, Head of Property at Kerseys Solicitors explains the importance of an EPC.

Energy performance certificates (EPC) were first introduced in 2007 as part of the Home Information Pack scheme and although the packs were abolished in 2010, the EPC still remains a mandatory requirement whenever a property is sold or rented.

The EPC rates a property from A to G (A being the highest) to show the energy efficiency of the property and provides some recommendations as to how the EPC rating could be improved such as loft or cavity wall insulation. They do not apply to listed buildings however. An EPC is valid for 10 years.

Although as a buyer you may have seen the EPC, I suspect that you did no more than give it a cursory glance. If you are intending to rent out a property however the EPC rating will increasingly become significant.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards were introduced in 2018, requiring new tenancies of rental properties to have a rating of at least band E.  On 1 April 2020 this was extended to all tenancies including existing tenancies.

However this is changing to require a minimum rating of C, initially applying to new tenancies from 2025 but to all tenancies from 2028.

Landlords face the prospect of penalties if they do not comply (currently up to £5,000 but  this will increase to up to £30,000 as the new requirements come into effect) and the rating of the property may also become significant in obtaining mortgage.

For home owners, the EPC may have an impact on your mortgage as there are already some lenders offering better rates where a property has a higher band EPC rating.

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