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Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) Plc

Does your EPC rating really matter?

As a homeowner, you may not have paid much attention to the energy efficiency rating of the property when you bought it; if you’ve lived in your current home for more than ten years and aren’t planning to move any time soon, you may not even have an EPC.

However, as a landlord, there are several reasons why you not only need to have an EPC but also should be concerned about your property’s energy rating.

In October 2008, new rules came into force requiring every property to have an EPC before being marketed for rent, with the certificate being made available to prospective tenants and a copy given to the tenant upon moving in. And since 9th January 2013 (in England, dates can be different for different countries), it has been a legal requirement for all advertisements for rental properties to clearly show the energy rating, allowing tenants to see which properties are likely to be more energy efficient and therefore incur lower heating bills.

This means the EPC rating has been a consideration for tenants for the past nine years and, in areas where there is a lot of competition, it could have been making the difference between a quick let and the property staying on the market a little longer. A recent survey of more than 3,000 tenants revealed that 42% consider the ‘green credentials’ of a property important when making a rental decision and that figure rises among tenants over 25, who have more experience of paying utility bills and having to manage living costs.

So, if you are among the 27% of landlords who don’t know their property’s energy rating, as energy company E.ON found in a survey undertaken earlier this year, look out your EPC now, because the government has estimated that one in ten rental properties will fail to meet the new minimum standards that are coming in.

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.