Energy Performance Certificates A Legal Requirement.
From 1 October 2008, all residential buildings have been required to have an Energy Performance Certificate on construction, sale or let of a property. EPCs for the sale or letting of buildings other than dwellings are valid for 10 years.
EPCs provide information on how to make a property more
energy efficient, including information on how to best reduce carbon
dioxide emissions. Every home that is bought, sold or rented requires an
Why energy performance certificates are required?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is intended to inform potential buyers or tenants about the energy performance of a building, so they can consider energy efficiency as part of their investment or business decision to buy or occupy that building.
These recommendations and findings are presented in a chart that demonstrates quickly and easily how energy efficient the property is. Recommendations may include: installing loft insulation and other improvements, information on how making changes may lead to a ratings change and possible savings per year of the changes are implemented.
Which buildings need an EPC?
A building will need an EPC if it has a roof and walls and uses energy to condition an indoor climate. This means it has heating, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation. For example, a garden shed would not need an EPC if it doesn't have any heating. The building can either be a whole building or part of a building that has been designed or altered to be used separately. If a building is made up of separate units, each with its own heating system, each unit will need an EPC.
Situations where an EPC is not required
EPCs are not required on construction, sale or rent for: places of worship temporary buildings with a planned time of use less than two years (see glossary of terms) stand alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m2 that are not dwellings industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand.
EPCs are not required on sale or rent for buildings due to be demolished.
The seller or landlord should be able to demonstrate that:
the building is to be sold or let with vacant possession; and the building is suitable for demolition and the resulting site is suitable for redevelopment;
They believe, on reasonable grounds, that a prospective buyer or tenant intends to demolish the building (e.g. on evidence of an application for planning permission).
Gas Safety Information:
Landlords have specific legal responsibilities to their tenants when it comes to gas safety.
Understanding the law for rental accommodation:
As a landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. Landlords duties apply to a wide range of accommodation, occupied under a lease or licence, which includes, but not exclusively:
Residential premises provided for rent by local authorities, housing associations, private sector landlords, housing co-operatives, hostels
rooms let in bed-sit accommodation, private households, bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels, rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages, flats, caravans and narrow boats on inland waterways.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 deal with landlords’ duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe.
If you let a property equipped with gas appliances you have three main responsibilities:
Maintenance: pipework, appliances and flues must be maintained in a safe condition. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available it is recommended that they are serviced annually unless advised otherwise by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Gas safety checks: a 12 monthly gas safety check must be carried out on every gas appliance/flue. A gas safety check will make sure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use.
Record: a record of the annual gas safety check must be provided to your tenant within 28 days of the check being completed or to new tenants before they move in. Landlords must keep copies of the gas safety record for two years.
All installation, maintenance and safety checks need to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
If a tenant has their own gas appliance that you have not provided, then you are responsible for the maintenance of the gas pipework but not for the actual appliance. You should also make sure your tenants know where to turn off the gas and what to do in the event of a gas emergency.
What if my tenant won't allow me access to the property?
The contract you draw up with the tenant should allow you access for any maintenance or safety check work to be carried out. You have to take ‘all reasonable steps’ to ensure this work is carried out, and this may involve giving written notice to a tenant requesting access, and explaining the reason. Keep a record of any action, in case a tenant refuses access and you have to demonstrate what steps have been taken.
What if you are only renting my property for a short period of time?
Even if a property is only rented for a short period of time, perhaps only a week as a holiday home, you are still a landlord and have specific duties for gas safety.
Please contact us to discuss your needs further on 020 8903 4555