When it comes to purchasing or renting a property, it is the person selling the house or the landlord who has the responsibility of obtaining an EPC. However, it’s still important for everybody involved to understand what the certificate is telling them.
It is illegal to sell a home without an EPC in place. In order to obtain an EPC you should speak to your estate agent, or for better value for money, obtain one directly from an EPC provider.
Ensure that you receive an EPC when you buy the house. Your solicitor should be checking this. Have a look at the recommendations it has and use it to inform you what improvements the property needs. You may even use it to negotiate on price.
If you have a property you wish to let out you must ensure that you have a valid EPC in place. Not only that, if you are asking a tenant to sign a new lease you must ensure that the property has achieved a minimum rating of ‘E’. From April 2020, this rule extends to cover all existing leases too.
Insist on seeing the property’s EPC before you move in. This not only ensures that it has met the legal requirements, it also gives you a good idea of how much the property will cost to run. This makes it easier to plan your monthly budgets going forward.
Understanding the EPC
The basic premise of an EPC is to show how energy efficient a property is. The main focus is on the Energy Efficiency rating, on page one of the document.
Here you will see two scores, one is the current rating, the other is the potential rating. The EPC will in subsequent pages show you how to get from one to the other.
‘A’ rated is the highest, ‘G’ rated is the lowest. Newer homes tend to have better ratings with older homes tending to have ratings of ‘D’ and ‘E’. The national average for a domestic property in the UK is ‘D’.
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