If you are selling or renting out your property, the last thing you need is an additional expense or yet another process to complete. But whether it’s to buy or rent, if a domestic property is on the market, it must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

While there are costs involved in obtaining your EPC, the information it provides could help you achieve a better sale price for your property or attract the perfect tenant quickly. In addition to ensuring that you maximise your property’s appeal, you could also discover ways to reduce its environmental impact or to minimise ongoing expenses.

EPC rating for a rental propertyWhat is an Energy Performance Certificate?

An EPC report gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. You will need to appoint an accredited assessor to carry out the EPC inspection. The EPC also includes useful suggestions on how to improve your rating. Any recommendations are tailored to the specific property, taking into consideration its location, age and condition.

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What is the minimum EPC rating for rental properties?

Landlords of privately rented properties in England and Wales must achieve at least an EPC rating of E before they can let, or continue to let, their properties.

If your properties rating is F or G, you need to take action immediately to improve the property’s rating to E (or higher). Your EPC report will include a list of recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your property.

You will never be expected to spend more than £3,500 (including VAT) on energy efficiency improvements. If you cannot improve your property’s EPC to E for £3,500 or less, you should make all the improvements that can be made up to that amount and then register an ‘all improvements made’ exception. The Gov.uk website explains your funding options, including third-party funding you could access, as well as how to apply for an exception.

Don’t put off getting a valid EPC certificate or making the necessary improvements to your property, the penalty for non-compliance is a fine of between £5,000 and £150,000 depending on how long you have been renting your property and its rateable value.

The benefits of an EPC

An EPC could prove beneficial, even if you are not planning to rent or sell your property. Homes account for 27% of carbon emissions in the UK and so contribute significantly to climate change. The guidance provided in an EPC will enable you to make changes that will minimise the environmental impact of your home and reduce your fuel bills.

Typically, domestic properties achieve a rating of D or E. If you can improve this to C or better, you could enhance the value of your property or the rental income that you can achieve.

Which properties do not require an EPC?

The following properties do not require an EPC:

  • Holiday accommodation
  • Residential buildings used less than 4 months each year
  • Industrial sites and workshops
  • Buildings scheduled for demolition
  • Buildings intended to be used for less than 2 years
  • Stand-alone buildings with less than 50 square metres of useful floor space
  • Listed buildings

5 ways to improve your property’s EPC ratings

Working towards a more energy-efficient property will enhance its value but also improve life for whoever is living there. To improve a home’s energy efficiency, examine your existing EPC report, the recommendations page will list measures you can take to improve the energy performance of the property.

property-energy-efficiencyHere are 5 things you could look at:

Energy-saving light bulbs

Replace any halogen spotlights with LED bulbs – these energy saving light bulbs are a cheap and easy way to improve your EPC rating.

Double glazing or triple glazing

Upgrading your windows and doors to double glazing (or even triple glazing) could improve your energy rating and will also reduce noise pollution. Replacement windows and doors may enhance the aesthetics of your property and increase security. All selling points for potential buyers.

Loft Insulation

A quarter of household heat is lost through the roof, but loft insulation is easy to install and relatively inexpensive.
If it’s a rental property, you may be able to attract tenants with the promise of cost-effective heating.

Wall insulation

Whether your home has cavity or solid walls, insulating them can improve your EPC rating. You might qualify for assistance with the cost of the project.

New boiler and heating system

Nothing will have such a huge impact on your energy bills as an energy-efficient boiler. The cost of replacing your boiler, or entire heating system, might be high in the short term, but the impact will be considerable.

Remember that even when you don’t need to heat your home, you will still require hot water. A new boiler is a fabulous selling point for your property. You could also consider adding a renewable energy source, in the form of solar panels or a ground source heat pump.  Ground source heat pumps use pipes that are buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground which can then be used to heat radiators and hot water in your home.

What is your property worth?

If you are thinking of selling your home in or around Newington Green, we can provide an up to date valuation. As an independent, owner-managed estate agent, we provide a truly personal, individual service with an emphasis on client care. We offer considered advice and work tirelessly on your behalf because we understand that properties are not just buildings – they are homes and investments. Contact us today.