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How Long Is an EPC Valid For?

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In England and Wales, EPC certificates expire after 10 years. It’s your responsibility as the property owner to ensure it’s renewed.

Unfortunately for you, this isn’t a thing “you’ll get around to do.” The law is behind EPC certificates. Failure to comply might attract hefty fines.

Are you interested in learning more about EPC certificates? Continue reading to find out.

What is an EPC certificate?

It’s a certificate describing the estimated energy efficiency of your property on a rating of A to G. It’s particularly crucial when selling or renting out your property to a prospective buyer or tenant, respectively. As a matter of fact, the law expects you to have and produce one upon request.

An A-rated property is at the top of the food chain. It’s highly energy-efficient and even able to produce its own “clean” energy. In this case, we’re talking about solar thermal panels and biomass boilers, among many others. Therefore, an A-rated property is also the cheapest to run as far as energy is concerned.

On the other hand, a G-rated property leaks energy from all sides. In this case, we’re referring to “zero” insulation, single glazed windows, and multiple cold spots. Additionally, you might find coal, oil, or electric boilers as the principal source of heat. As you can imagine, such a house is expensive to run, especially during the harsh winter season.

Why should you get/update an EPC certificate?

Besides being a requirement by the law, it can also help you when selling or renting out your property. Potential buyers and tenants are serious about it. It might be what distinguishes your property from another.

You should look forward to updating your EPC certificate, especially if you’ve recently upgraded your property. By upgrades, we’re referring to anything that will boost energy efficiency, like new heating systems and insulation.

Who’s responsible for obtaining an EPC?

For pre-existing buildings, the owner is responsible for obtaining or renewing the EPC certificate. The same goes if you plan on renting out your house. Remember, the law specifically states, it’s compulsory to obtain an EPC before marketing the property for sale or rent.

There’s more.

When marketing your property for sale or rent, it’s your responsibility to ensure EPC’s Performance Indicator features in all your commercial marketing material. Examples of marketing materials include brochures and property websites, among others.

If the building is recently constructed, it’s up to the builder to obtain and issue the EPC to the owner who commissioned the construction. Ideally, the builder should deliver it within 5 days after completion.

Penalties for not taking or making your EPC available

Indeed, some penalties come with ignoring your property’s EPC. Remember, it’s the law. The Department of Finance and district councils are the bodies responsible for it.

Should you fail to comply with EPC regulations, you may suffer a penalty. Likewise, you’ll draw a penalty if you fail to produce your EPC documents upon request. The fines are quite hefty. If you’re not careful, you can end up paying up to £5000.

How long does an EPC take, and how much does it cost?

Generally, it should cost you around £120. For average-sized families houses, you should expect to pay less. Almost all energy service providers offer EPC services. Ideally, you may want to shop around for the best price. Take note that there is no advantage to choosing a more expensive service. They all carry the same weight.

Once you’ve paid your dues, the energy company will dispatch an accredited and qualified Domestic Energy Assessor to your home. The professional will tour and inspect your property, taking notes of factors like the house’s construction, heating system, and insulation, among other things. The process will take anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour.

To help ease the process, we advise you to ready your property and allow access to all rooms, including your loft space.

After the assessment’s completion, the service provider should issue the EPC certificate in one business day.

EPCs for lets and rentals

EPC for private property is straightforward. However, things can get confusing if you own commercial rental property.

In 2015, they brought forward new energy-efficiency legislation targeting rental properties. It stated that you should only market your property for rent if it has an EPC rating of “E” or higher. It was officially enacted in April 2018.

We’re pleased to announce that an “E” rating isn’t hard to obtain. You can get it if your property has any of the following:

  • A combi boiler central heating system.
  • Double glazed windows.
  • 600mm of edge insulation.
  • Wall insulation.

How to move up the EPC rating system

We’ve just explained to you how you can get your property up to an “E”. However, you don’t have to stop there. Remember, the higher the rating, the more appealing it is to potential buyers and tenants.

Fortunately, you don’t have to think hard about how you’re going to climb the ladder. Your EPC certificate has the answer. Not only will it state your rating, but it will also explain to you how you can boost your property’s efficiency. In fact, it will also give you a cost estimate for the upgrades.

When don’t you need an EPC?

You don’t need to get an EPC certification for your property if:

  • You already took one in the last 10 years.
  • You own a park home.
  • You’re selling land.
  • You’re only renting out a room in your home and sharing facilities with the tenant.
  • You’re selling or renting out a building space of less than 50 square meters.
  • You use the property for religious purposes or as a place of worship.

EPC certificates remain valid for 10 years from the date of issue.

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