Everyone who is advertising their residential property for rent in the UK is required by law to commission an EPC. Therefore yes, you do need an EPC if you are going to rent your Preston, Leyland or Chorley property. In Scotland, it is required that the EPC be displayed in the property, usually in the meter cupboard or next to the boiler.

You must have an EPC to commence a tenancy and you can be fined for not having an EPC when you need one. There are a few possible exceptions, but the majority of them concern businesses or places of worship. For example, your property might be exempt if it is mixed-use, such as a home that is also a shop, less than 50 square metres, or used for less than four months of the year, like a holiday home.

What is an EPC?

EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. An EPC grades how energy efficient a property is from A to G and 1-100.

It includes recommendations on how to improve the property’s energy efficiency, as well as the rating the property may get if all of those recommendations were implemented. It also includes the environmental CO2 impact rating for the property. That is how much CO2 is produced during the production of hot water and heating for the property.

How is an EPC produced?

You need to employ a certified assessor to do the report. The EPC assessor will visit your property and gather information about your boiler, hot water tank, radiators, insulation, windows and lighting. Then, they put this information into software that figures out how energy-efficient your home is and how it affects the environment.

There are plenty of accredited EPC assessors around Preston and we have a few highly recommended on our books should you need one.

How can you improve your EPC?

Contained in the report will be a list of ways in which you can improve your property’s EPC rating. These are not generic suggestions but will actually be specifically tailored to your property. You may decide not to use any of them. However, it is worth noting that a low EPC rating can put off potential tenants, as they may worry about the cost of heating the property.

If you want to raise your property’s rating, the single most effective thing you can do is install a new boiler. Other things that can improve the energy efficiency of your property are:

increasing the amount of loft insulation

ensuring all light fittings are fitted with low energy bulbs

adding solar panels to your roof

ensuring all windows are double glazed as a minimum

sealing unused chimneys to reduce draughts

installing floor insulation

adding heating controls (TRVs) to radiators

adding wall insulation.

It is always a good idea to keep any documentation when having insulation installed because EPC assessors only conduct a visual inspection of your property and will not be able to see any in tucked away or inaccessible areas.

It may feel like a hassle to have to arrange for an EPC to be carried out, but it can actually help you attract tenants to your property. A property with a high EPC rating will be attractive to a wide range of tenants. Many people are now concerned about their own carbon footprint and the rising cost of energy, so if your property is energy-efficient, it is definitely a plus.

The government is currently pushing through changes to the Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations to increase the rating of rental properties from a minimum E rating to a minimum C rating.  These are expected to come into force in 2025 for all new tenancies and 2028 for existing tenancies. Therefore researching your options to increase your property’s energy efficiency now would be prudent and allow time for any budgeting required.

If you have any questions about EPCs or would like to learn more about how we can help you through the entire property letting process, please contact us at 01772 284606 or send us an email to office@prlettings.com. We have been helping landlords with their properties in Preston, Leyland, Chorley and the surrounding areas for the last decade.