Question: I rent out various properties and have been told that I now need to give my tenants Energy Performance Certificates.
© Malcolm Willett (www.willett-ink.co.uk)
I thought these were part of Home Information Packs, which are needed when properties are sold. Has something changed?
Answer: Since 1 October 2008, all homes for rent now require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and all commercial premises require one when built, sold or let. Also, all homes for sale, even if they were being marketed before 1 October 2008, now require an EPC.
If you intend to rent out any of your properties to a new tenant you must provide an EPC at your expense. It must include the rating, and the recommendation report should be given to a prospective tenant before you enter into any rental agreement.
An EPC lasts for 10 years and so it is not necessary for you to get a new one each time there is a change of tenant. However, if you obtain any subsequent EPCs, the most recent will be the valid one. If you recently bought a property and you were given one in the Home Information Pack, you can use that for a subsequent rental.
If you fail to provide an EPC for a tenant, or you fail to show one to an enforcement officer when requested, you can be fined £200 for each dwelling – and you will still have to provide an EPC for your tenant.
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Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors www.ttuk.com.