Energy Performance

Except where a property is of a type where an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is not required, or is exempt (see below), the landlord must provide a tenant with a copy of a valid EPC.

Which types of building are exempt

Energy performance certificates (EPCs) are not required for:[1]

  • buildings officially protected as part of a designated environment or because of their special architectural or historical merit (where compliance would unacceptably alter their character or appearance)
  • buildings that are used as places of worship
  • buildings that are temporary – having a planned time of use of two years or less
  • industrial sites or workshops non-residential agricultural buildings with a low energy demand, such as barns or cow sheds
  • stand-alone buildings which have a total useful floor area of less than 50 square metres
  • residential buildings used for fewer than four months or for a limited annual time of use with an energy consumption below a certain level.

 

Minimum Energy Rating Standards

From the 1st April 2018 it is a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to have a minimum energy performance rating of E (the energy rating will be found on an Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC“). The new requirement was imposed under the he Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (“the regulations”).

 

The regulations will apply to tenancies granted on and after 1st April 2018 (including renewals) and the regulation will apply to all existing tenancies from 1st April 2020. The new regulations prohibit letting a property which falls below the new minimum efficiency rating unless the landlord is exempt. A civil penalty of up to £5,000 will be imposed for letting a property below the EPC rating E. 

There will be a PRS Exemption Register, where the landlord wishes to rely on an exemption from having to increase the energy performance of a property to at least the a rating of E the landlord may only rely on the exemption if the information is registered on the PRS Exemption Register. Consent Exemption The consent exemption applies where the tenant refusing to:

  • consent to any relevant energy efficiency improvement being made,
  • to give any confirmation which must be obtained from the tenant by virtue of regulation 36 of the Framework Regulations before any green deal plan with which the landlord proposed to fund the making of the relevant energy efficiency improvement could be entered into,

Where despite reasonable efforts by the landlord to obtain third party consent, that consent having been—

  • refused, or
  • granted subject to a condition with which the landlord cannot reasonably comply.

Where an EPC is not given

A landlord who is subject to the requirement to provide an EPC will be prevented from relying on a section 21 notice. However, this restriction will be lifted as soon as an EPC has been provided to the tenant [2].

Appeals

A landlord can appeal a penalty notice served in relation to a breach of the regulations the typical time limit to submit an appeal is 21 days from the date the penalty notice is served upon the landlord. Any appeal would need to be made to the First-tier Tribunal.

The grounds of appeal which may be relied on are:

  • the issue of the penalty notice was based on an error of fact, 
  • the issue of the penalty notice was based on an error of law, 
  • the penalty notice does not comply with a requirement imposed by these Regulations, or 
  • in the circumstances of the case it was inappropriate for the penalty notice to be served on the landlord.

 

[1] reg 5 Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 SI 2012/3118.

[2] Regulation The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 and s.39 of the Deregulation Act 2105

 

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