A Government circular has announced a timetable for the requirement for all landlords of rented homes to have energy performance certificates (EPC) for their properties. From 1st of October 2008 any landlord will have to have an EPC ready and available for a prospective tenant upon the letting of any property.
The EPC must be available for a prospective tenant on request and a copy will have to be given to the tenant prior to contract. So this does not mean that all rented stock needs an EPC at once, but will need one upon each relet. If a tenancy is renewed by same tenant, the need for an EPC does not arise.
Portfolios of similar properties will be allowed to have EPC’s of “representative” properties only, rather than surveying every one. In the case of shared houses and HMOs where units share toilets, kitchens and bathrooms, one EPC for the building will be required.
The EPC for rented dwellings will be valid for up to 10 years and so will not be required to be renewed for each new letting, unlike what is proposed on sale and HIPs.
The announcement of this timetable was made before the decision to postpone the introduction of HIPs from June to August. The postponement was linked to the shortage of available trained and accredited energy assessors. EPCs can only be produced by a qualified energy assessor so it remains to be seen whether the timetable for rented properties may also be deferred. The message so far from Government is that the timetable for rented properties will not change.