EPC requirements for landlords and rental homes
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements for landlords and rented properties: what are the rules?
The government was planning on introducing energy efficiency targets for landlords in England and Wales. From 2025, it was proposed that new tenancies would only be possible if a rental property had an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of C or higher. And from 2028, the rule would also apply to existing tenancies.
In September 2023, the prime minister announced these proposals will no longer be going ahead.
What are the current minimum EPC requirements for landlords?
Since 2018, when the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) rules were introduced, the minimum EPC rating for a rental home has been set at E.
What does MEES stand for and how does this apply to landlords?
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are a set of rules relating to rental homes. They were first introduced in England and Wales in 2015.
In 2018, MEES made it illegal for private landlords to rent a property that has an EPC rating below E. That means that any homes rated F or G can’t be offered for rent until their rating is improved.
To find out more, or to check the EPC rating of your property, take a look at our guide to Energy Performance Certificates.
I’m thinking of renting out my property – how do I get a landlord’s EPC?
You can find an accredited assessor, who’ll be able to provide you with an Energy Performance Certificate. Government regulations require all rental properties to have an EPC rating of E or higher before being let to tenants.
If your property has an EPC rating below E, but is eligible for an exemption under the government’s guidelines, you can also apply for an exemption via the government website.
Do I need to renew an EPC during a tenancy?
Not if you have the same tenants in the property and you’re not making any changes to their tenancy agreement. You only need to renew an expired EPC when you plan to market the property for new tenants, or if you want to reflect improvements you’ve made to a property that will result in an improved rating.
How often do landlords need an EPC?
An EPC lasts for 10 years, no matter how many times the property is bought, sold or let.
Can landlords be fined for not having EPC?
Yes. Local authorities have the power to issue fines of £500 if you don’t make a copy of the EPC available to your tenant, and up to £5,000 for not having a valid EPC.
Do I need my tenant’s permission before arranging an EPC assessment?
Yes, it’s a legal requirement to give tenants at least 24 hours written notice before an EPC assessment.
Are my tenants entitled to a copy of the EPC?
Yes, it’s a legal requirement for you to give a copy of the EPC to your tenants.
What’s the average cost of making improvements to improve an EPC rating?
It depends on the size of your rental property. The government estimates the average cost to landlords of making improvements to reach an EPC rating of C is around £4,700. For larger, and older homes, this cost will be significantly higher.
What will happen if I can’t afford to make the improvements to my rental homes in time?
At the moment, if you make improvements that cost up to £3,500 – and you still can’t improve your property to the minimum rating of an E – you can register for an ‘all improvements made’ exemption.
Further details on these exemptions and how to apply are here.
What financial assistance is the government offering?
The government’s Spring Statement in April 2022 announced a zero-rate of VAT on certain materials used for EPC rating improvements. This includes insulation, controls for heating and hot water supply, solar panels and heat pumps.
It’s also worth checking if your local council offers any financial incentives for energy-efficient improvements.
What are the EPC requirements for landlords and rented homes in Scotland?
Since March 2022, all privately rented homes in Scotland must have an EPC rating between A and E. And from April 2022, all new tenancies have required a rating of D or above.
All rented homes must be rated D or above by 31 March 2025, although it’s possible this date will be altered because of delays caused by Covid. Unlike in England and Wales, all historic buildings require an EPC before they’re allowed to be rented out.
The energy-efficiency regulations for private rental properties in Scotland can be found here.
And a list of EPC assessors in Scotland is here.
In Scotland, as in England and Wales, EPCs last for 10 years. It’s illegal to rent a property to a new tenant without one, incurring a minimum fine of £500. The Scottish government offers grants and interest-free loans to cover some energy-efficient home improvements. You can find out more here.
And in Northern Ireland?
In Northern Ireland, EPCs are a requirement for anyone selling or renting a property – with a fine of £200 for landlords without one. But there is no set minimum standard to be met. A list of assessors is available here.
READ MORE: Your guide to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)