The majority of private rentals in the UK will need an EPC but the exact requirements will vary depending on where in the UK the property is.
EPCs give an indication of how well insulated a property is, how economic it is to run, and will include suggestions about how the insulation can be improved. Properties are given an overall rating from A (the highest rating) to G (the lowest rating).
In England and Wales, rented properties are required to have an EPC rating of E or above.
In Scotland all existing tenancies will be required to have an EPC rating of E or above by 31 March 2022. Any new tenancy starting on, or after, 1 April 2022 will need an EPC rating of D, or higher.
In Northern Ireland all rented properties are required to have an EPC rating but there is no minimum grade.
Properties can be excluded from the requirement to have an EPC if one of the following applies:
- The property is listed (does not apply in Scotland)
- The property is a temporary building which will be used for two years, or less
- The useable floor space is less then 50m2
- The property is due for demolition
- The property is a holiday let and is let as a private residence for no more than four months of the year (in England)
- The property is not a building (e.g. a static caravan or house boat). Individual room lets are also normally exempt from the requirement to provide an EPC, as the let is not for a self-contained building unit
- It has been registered on the private rental sector Exemption Register (In England)
- The building is less than ten years old (the building will need a different report known as a SAP)
When to get an EPC
EPCs are normally valid for up to 10 years. You might need to get a new certificate if you carry out major building work at the property. If you are having building work carried out at the property you should speak to your contractors about whether an EPC is required/advised.
Landlords need to ensure that are able to provide an EPC on request while viewing the property and that they provide a valid EPC at the start of any new tenancy. If they update the property's EPC during the tenancy then they should give a copy of the new certificate to their tenant(s).
What happens if a landlord doesn't provide a valid EPC
Landlords in England and Wales who don't give their tenant(s) a copy of a valid EPC at the start of the tenancy (or don't provide a valid exemption) may not be able to evict their tenants using a Section 21 notice. They can also be fined up to £5000.
Landlords in Scotland can face a fine of up to £500 for not providing a valid EPC at the start of a tenancy.
In Northern Ireland landlords can face a fine of up to £200 if they don't provide a valid EPC to their new tenant(s).