Do I need an EPC for my domestic property?
Anyone who sells or rents out a property needs an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) unless it is:
- A place of worship
- A temporary structure
- A standalone building of less than 50m2
- A listed building (but only where the improvements would unacceptably alter the character or appearance of the property)
A landlord must provide a tenant with a copy of the EPC or face a fine of £200.
How do I know if I already have an EPC and what does it score?
You can search via your postcode on the government’s EPC Register.
Are there any exemptions from having to reach an E on my EPC?
Yes, there are various exemptions. For example, if the cost of improvements will go over £3,500 incl. VAT; or the improvement would devalue the property; or a tenant does not give permission to have works carried out. A landlord would need to register these exemptions on the PRS Exemptions Register.
What is the HHSRS (Housing Health & Safety Rating System)?
This also applies to rented properties. It was introduced under the Housing Act 2004 and ensures a property is free from unacceptable hazards, e.g. adequately heated, without damp and mould, safe electrics, and conforms to fire safety standards. There are no exemptions from complying with this. Compliance is enforced by the local Council and non-compliance can lead to fines of up to £30,000 and criminal prosecution.
Does the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) scheme apply to landlords?
Yes, the HUG scheme is available to landlords and tenants, however, landlords will need to pay a third of the cost of any work carried out. Delivered by Cornwall Council and OVO Energy, the HUG scheme aims to fund heating systems and sufficient insulation to raise the efficiency of a property to EPC C. It is available for households across the whole of Cornwall and the property must have an EPC of minimum E rating to apply. The grant is based on the tenant’s income level. For more information about the grant, please contact our Landlord Liaison Officer, Nicole Solomons on 01872 308930 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I improve the energy efficiency of my listed building?
Yes. There are plenty of improvements that can be made which would be approved by a conservation officer e.g. loft insulation and heating upgrades. Our guidance on historic buildings gives you some ideas and examples – see MEES information below. For more indepth advice, please contact our Landlord Liaison Officer, Nicole Solomons on 01872 308930 or email: email@example.com
What are Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)?
MEES were introduced in 2015, but from April 2020, they are applicable to all domestic tenancies where a property legally requires an EPC and is let on a qualifying tenancy. It sets a minimum standard of an E on the EPC which means that properties that score an F or G on the EPC will no longer be legally lettable. More information can be found on guidance leaflets from Cornwall Council: MEES Guidance leaflet and MEES Guidance leaflet for landlords with historic buildings