As one of the best estate agents in Harrow, we often get asked about Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). They are an important piece of documentation, and a legal requirement, when you want to rent a property.

This is everything you need to know about EPCs.

What is an EPC?

An EPC is very similar to what you have on new appliances. It tells you how energy efficient the inspected home is and it will give it a rating from A to G, with A being the most efficient, and G being very inefficient.

In general, the rating gives an indication of the costs for heating and lighting the property. It also tells the reader what the carbon emissions for the property are.

Finally, the EPC will state what the potential energy-efficiency rating could be if suggested improvements are implemented. The improvements suggested can be simple things such as replacing light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones, to insulating the property.

How long are EPCs valid for?

Once you’ve had an EPC for a property issued, it is valid for ten years. Unless a property has been opted out, there is a national register for EPCs. This can be good if you’re thinking of moving into an area as you can see what similar properties in the area have got in their EPCs. You can also compare your home to other properties in the area.

When do you need to get an EPC?

Generally, an EPC should be issued every time a home is listed for rent. Landlords need to display an EPC to potential tenants. Despite this, there are a few exceptions to this rule. You don’t need to get an EPC when you are just renting a single room.

If you are renting a listed building, you might not need an EPC. This is because many improvements, such as double glazing, can’t be implemented.

When you make improvements to a home for renting, you might want to consider getting a new EPC, as an improved rating can increase the rent value of your property.

It is important to note that landlords looking to rent a property now need to achieve a minimum rating of E on their rented property. Failure to do this can mean a £4,000 fine.

What is included in an EPC?

An EPC contains a lot of information about the property and how the property’s energy efficiency can be improved. The report can be split into several sections.

The first section is the grade of the property. The grade is given as a letter, from A to G. On average, older properties with no recent improvements to the energy efficiency will be around a grade D. The grade will also be given as a number from 1 to 100. The higher the number the more energy efficient the property is.

The second part in an EPC report is about the estimated costs for running the heat and power in the property. Details will also be included in the report about the potential savings, should improvements be made to the property.

Another section details how certain aspects of the property, such as walls, flooring, windows, etc. are in terms of energy efficiency. This is a useful guide to help you decide how to best improve your property’s energy efficiency.

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