What are EPCs?
Energy performance certificates, or EPCs, are reports that rate a property’s energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions. All properties available for rent must have an EPC in place, landlords who fail to provide EPCs to their prospective tenants can be prosecuted and face a fine.
The Energy Performance Certificate is produced by a certified Domestic Energy Assessor, and it rates a property’s efficiency from A to G, A being the most efficient and G the least. The score achieved is generated based on the property’s construction, type of dwelling, type of boiler, insulation, double glazing and heating systems. The certificate also contains recommendation of measures that can be taken to improve the property’s energy efficiency and gives estimates for fuel costs. Once issued, an EPC is valid for 10 years.
Why is an EPC important for tenants to see?
Firstly, it is illegal for a property to be advertised for rent without an EPC in place. The landlord or letting agent must be able to produce a copy of the EPC free of charge for any person interested in renting a property. You need to see one before signing the tenancy agreement. The EPC ratings are standard, allowing you to compare properties against each other.
One of the main benefits of the EPC to tenants is the section on estimated fuel costs. This will give you a better understanding of the overall cost of renting a property, helping you to plan your budget. You may be attracted to a property with cheaper rent but if it is less efficient you are likely to have more expensive energy bills. However, a property which is more energy efficient may be more expensive in terms of the monthly rent, but the cheaper fuel bills are likely to offset this.
If you are concerned about your carbon footprint, the EPC can help you to understand ways in which you can reduce your effect on the environment, such as changing to energy efficient light bulbs or adding loft insulation, with your landlord’s permission.
Family Homes ensure that every property we advertise for rent has a valid EPC. Family Homes are letting agents with offices in Sittingbourne and Faversham. We have been in business for over 25 years and are the leading and largest independent specialists in property lettings and management in the area.
For more information about EPC for tenants or to talk to us about renting a property, please contact us.