Munday and Cramer

What is the minimum EPC for letting?

As a landlord, ensuring your properties meet the relevant Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) is of unprecedented importance. After all, residential properties are responsible for between 17% and 21% of annual, global carbon emissions. In an attempt to combat this, the UK government have proposed that the minimum EPC for letting must rise from ‘E’ or above, to ‘C’ or above. But what does this mean for landlords? 

What do you need to know about EPC ratings?

First introduced in 2007, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are a way of measuring a property’s energy performance. This includes everything from the type of insulation to the overall efficiency of the heating and lighting systems. EPC ratings are provided by an accredited energy assessor, with ‘A’ being the most efficient, and ‘G’ being the least. 

What are the current rules for the minimum EPC for letting?

Under the MEES, private rented properties must have a valid EPC rating of ‘E’ or above. These regulations were first set in 2015, coming into force in 2018 for new tenancies, and 2020 for existing ones. There are, however, exemptions under the MEES. These include: 

  • If you believe the property cannot be improved to meet the minimum EPC for letting, exemptions can be applied for.  
  • If the work necessary to increase a property’s EPC rating will devalue the building. 
  • Third-party consent cannot be obtained. 
  • If the cost of implementing the cheapest recommendation for improving a property’s EPC value exceeds £3,500 including VAT. 
  • The ‘7-year payback’ test fails. 
  • If the building is a place of worship, or a temporary structure to be used for 2 years or less. 

How are the rules changing?

As a way of minimising carbon emissions in buildings to the point of net-zero, the UK government have proposed a change in the MEES as part of the Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings Bill. The plan is to raise the minimum EPC for letting from ‘E’ or above, to ‘C’ or above. All new tenancies would need to meet this criterion from as early as 2025, whilst existing tenancies have until 2028. 

Additionally, the cost cap for improving a property’s EPC value (previously £3,500) is expected to rise to £10,000. This should bring 90% and 60% of ‘D’ and ‘E’ rated properties respectively up to a ‘C’ rating. Also, fines for not possessing a valid EPC could reach as high as £30,000 from 2028 onwards, up from £5,000. 

How long will my current EPC last?

Once a certified energy assessor has issued your building with an EPC, it is valid for 10 years. Once this 10 years is up, you aren’t automatically required to get a new one. You only need a new certificate if you intend to let to a new tenant or sell the building. 

How can we help

Achieving a minimum EPC for letting rating of ‘C’ or above for your property isn’t a straightforward process. With that in mind, why not let the seasoned experts at Munday + Cramer help? For more information about how we can help with boosting your EPC ratings, get in touch! To reach the team, call us today on 01245 326 200, or click here.