In Scotland, landlord’s have to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for all new lets or when a property is to be rented to a new tenant.
The purpose of an EPC is to show prospective tenants the energy of the property they are considering letting. An EPC gives details of the energy efficiency of the property, however the landlord does not have to carry out the recommended actions on the report.
When do I need an EPC?
Your property’s EPC needs to be available to potential buyers as soon as you start to market your property for sale or rent. It is a requirement under law that the EPC must be ‘affixed’ within the property. Building standards guidance suggests the EPC be located in the boiler or meter cupboard. A copy should be retained with other legal papers relating to your property.
If you sell or rent and you do not provide an EPC, or include the building’s energy rating if advertising it, you could be fined a minimum of £500.
- The landlord must provide the EPC.
- An EPC must be produced by an accredited assessor and
- An EPC is valid for ten years.
What is the cost for an EPC?
EPCs can vary depending on a number of factors including location, type of property and number of bedroom etc. However, you can generally expect to pay between £40 to £70.
What information will be shown?
The Energy Performance Certificate should:
- Display an indication of current carbon dioxide emissions
- Provide an indication of potential emissions on an annual basis and also the potential energy use of the building
- Record a list of cost effective improvements
Do I have to update the EPC after 10 years?
No. Only if you sell or rent out (including renting out to a new tenant) the property after the 10 year period. The same EPC can be reused as many times as necessary within the ten year period.
Some questions the assessor may ask you if the information is not obvious:
- When was the property built? When were any extensions and conversions made?
- If you converted the loft into a room, when was the work carried out?
- Has the property been inspected for, or does it have any cavity wall insulation?
- Have you added any double glazing windows or doors very recently?
- Does the property have any under-floor insulation? Can this be seen, or do you have the receipts for this work?
- Are you on a single or double electricity meter?
Regulation changes for 2020:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update April 2020: The Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property (Scotland) Regulations 2020 were due to come into force on 1 April 2020. However the decision has been made not to launch these regulations at this time because of the COVID-19 crisis. The work on improving energy efficiency in private rented housing will resume once the current COVID-19 crisis comes to an end.
Once these regulations are launched, private rented sector properties in Scotland will need to achieve at least:
- EPC of E at change of tenancy from 1 October 2020 (date postponed)
- All rental properties must have an EPC rating of E by 31 March 2022 (date postponed)
- EPC of D at change of tenancy from 1 April 2022 (date postponed)
- All rental properties must have an EPC rating of D by 31 March 2025 (date postponed)
- There is further consultation to improve this to an EPC of C, by 2028.
In some situations it is proposed that there will be exemptions, including where:
- It is not technically feasible to carry out improvements
- Where other owners in a block of flats refuse consent to do work to common parts of the building
- Where tenants refuse consent for work
- Where permission to carry out work to a property which is listed or in a conservation area can’t be obtained
- Where the cost of improvements needed in the period 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2022 exceeds £5000, and where the cost of improvements needed in the period after 31 March 2022 exceeds £5000.
It is intended that for all EPC related works, landlords will only be required to carry out such work where the cost of purchasing and installing it can be financed by means of funding provided by a grant or loan from Scottish Ministers.
Further details of proposed exemptions can be read in part 4 of the government’s draft guidance.
Local authorities will enforce the minimum standard, including recording and monitoring exemptions, and where necessary, serve a penalty notice on landlords that do not comply with the standard. It is proposed that fines of up to £5000 can be levied on those owners who don’t comply with the minimum standard or provide false or misleading information on the exemptions register.
Our advise to landlords would be to keep you EPC valid at all times. The EPC lasts for 10 years at an average cost of £50. This works out at £5 per year.
You cannot sell or let your property without having an EPC. Having your EPC valid at all times will assist with your Landlord Registration Application (and/or Renewal) and will ensure you are ready to let or sell the property at any time.
Advice & Support
For more information on Energy Performance Certificates see the Scottish Government website gov.scot/publications/energy-performance-certificates-introduction/