As a landlord it is likely you will need to commission an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property at some point. If your property needs one, you also have a responsibility to provide the EPC to tenants.
You are also required to improve the energy efficiency of your property if it doesn’t meet the minimum standard.
An EPC is a document that contains information about a property and how efficiently it uses energy.
It provides some key pieces of information, including:
- The energy efficiency of a property on a scale from A - G (with A being the most efficient and G the least efficient).
- The environmental impact of a property.
All EPCs on existing homes are produced using the same process. This means that the energy efficiency of different properties can be compared fairly.
EPCs and private renting
As a private landlord you must:
- commission (order) an EPC before a building is marketed for rent
- provide an EPC to any prospective tenants the first time the property is let and to any future tenants
- always provide the EPC free of charge
The EPC is valid for 10 years (unless a new valid certificate is commissioned within this time). You may choose to commission a new EPC if there have been significant changes to a property which would impact the current EPC.
The following types of rented accommodation are an exception and do not require an EPC:
- bedsits or room lets where there is a shared kitchen, toilet and/or bathroom (for example a property where each room has its own tenancy agreement)
- a room in a hall of residence or hostel
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations
The MEES regulations are in place to improve the energy efficiency of homes in the private rented sector.
What do the regulations mean?
The regulations mean that privately rented properties must achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E at the minimum.
As a landlord, you could be breaking the law if you are renting out a property that has an EPC banding of ‘F’ or ‘G’ (this applies to new and existing tenancies).
You must make improvements if you are renting out a property that has an EPC banding of ‘F’ or ‘G’, unless you have registered the property as exempt.
You won’t have to make improvements if you have registered the property as exempt. However, there are limited reasons you can register an exemption for.
Most exemptions last for 5 years and after this time you would need to re-register an exemption if applicable. There is also a temporary 6 month exemption if you have recently become a landlord under certain circumstances.
Enforcement and penalties
We (Wrexham Council, as the local authority) enforce the regulations. We have a range of powers to check and make sure that landlords are compliant.
If we believe a landlord may be in breach of the regulations, we may serve a compliance notice. The notice will ask for information to help us decide whether a breach has occurred.
If we confirm that a property is (or has been) let in breach of the regulations, we may do either or both of the following:
- serve a financial penalty up to 18 months after the breach
- publish details of the breach for at least 12 months