Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
It is a legal requirement to have a valid EPC for a property when marketing for sales and/or lettings. There are exemptions for certain property types, and all exemptions have to be registered on the national register. Each registered exemption is valid for five years. In addition, from 1st April 2018 any property let on a new tenancy or a fixed term renewal must meet the new minimum EPC rating of E or higher. As EPCs only last for 10 years and became compulsory in 2008, it is important to check that your EPC is still valid and the rating is E or higher. From 1st April 2020 it will not be possible to let any domestic property that has an EPC rating of F or G. Furthermore, if a landlord wants back possession of a property let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy it is legally necessary to have a valid EPC before serving notice on a tenant.
What is an EPC?
An EPC assesses the energy performance of a property, from "A" representing the most energy efficient property to "G" representing the least energy efficient property. It must be carried out by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor and will also show a building's environmental impact by indicating its carbon dioxide emissions. The assessor looks at factors such as the wall, floor and roof insulation, boiler efficiency, and even the type of lightbulbs in use. All EPCs can be found on the national register accessible here.
How long is an EPC valid for?
A valid EPC will last for 10 years and can be used for multiple tenancies within that period so long as the rating is not F or G. This is because from 1st April 2018 any property let on a new tenancy or a fixed term renewal of tenancy must have a minimum EPC rating of E or higher. A new EPC should be arranged for a rental property as soon as an existing certificate expires to maintain a valid EPC at all times.
How do I order an EPC?
DG Property Consultants are able to arrange for an EPC to be carried out on your behalf. The cost of an EPC will be £120.00.
Gas Safety Certificates.
A compulsory test proving that gas appliances and supply points in the property are safe. GSCs must be renewed every 12 months by a registered engineer who will check the flue and appliance. Tenants must be provided with a copy of the new GSC within 28 days of the check.
Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR).
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) assesses the safety of the existing electrical installation within a property and describes its condition. The assessment will cover consumer units (fuse boards), protective bonding, lighting, switches, sockets etc.
All rental properties need an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) with a rating of ‘satisfactory’. If the outcome is ‘unsatisfactory’ then remedial works must be completed within 28 days, or sooner if required. A ‘satisfactory’ EICR is valid for up to five years.
* This article was updated in 2022, as these EICR requirements are now in full effect. *
An EICR verifies that your property has been inspected and tested as safe for your tenants, and should be done by a qualified electrician. EICRs are required as part of the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rental Sector (England) Regulations 2020. All tenancies are required to have a valid EICR with a satisfactory rating.
Below we answer some of the most common FAQs surrounding this regulation change to help landlords ensure they are letting within the law.
What is an EICR?
An EICR assesses the safety of the existing electrical systems within a property and describes its condition. The assessment will cover edition of the wiring, consumer units (fuse boards), protective bonding, light fittings and lighting, switches, sockets etc. The report will assess if the electrics meet current wiring regulations and standards, specifically British Standard ‘BS 7671:2018’ which has been in effect since January 2019.
What is my responsibility as a landlord?
Landlords must obtain a valid EICR with a ‘satisfactory’ rating from a qualified electrician and this must be given to the prospective tenant before their tenancy agreement commences, or to existing tenants within 28 days of the electrical inspection. If a local authority requests an EICR report, it must be provided within seven calendar days.
How long is an EICR valid for?
If the condition of all of these is deemed ‘satisfactory’, the report is valid for five years and can therefore be used for future tenancies for the next five years.
What is the difference between a PAT and EICR?
A Portable Appliance Test (PAT) documents safety testing of only portable electrical appliances e.g. fridge/freezer, washing machine, toaster. An EICR assesses all the fixed electrical fittings and installation.
Why do I need an EICR on a renewal?
Under the regulations a renewal is treated as a new tenancy, so any renewals commencing from 1st July 2020 must also comply with the new regulations.
What if my EICR comes back with a rating of ‘unsatisfactory’?
Where a report rates the electrics as ‘unsatisfactory’, the regulations require the landlord to undertake further investigative or remedial work by a qualified person within 28 days, or sooner if specified in the report.
Unsatisfactory codes shown on the EICR report can include:
C1 Danger present, risk of injury, immediate remedial action required
C2 Potentially dangerous, urgent remedial action required
F1 Further investigation required
What happens if I do not comply with these regulations?
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in financial penalties of up to £30,000 by the local authority.
If you have any further questions regarding an EICR, speak to DG Property Consultants, who also can arrange an EICR for you.