Private landlords and letting agents must follow new rules about publishing energy ratings on advertising for rented homes.
From January 9, 2013, all advertising in online or print should include the rented home’s rating from the energy performance certificate (EPC).
However, house in multiple occupation (HMO) landlords are exempt from the rule change – which means any home let on a room-by-room basis with shared facilities.
Shared houses, student lets, bedsits and similar properties fall outside of the new rules.
The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) explained this is because EPCs apply to self-contained buildings or part of buildings and as HMOs are not self-contained due to the sharing element.
Publishing just the energy rating seems to be a climb down for the DCLG as the original rules published last year implied the rent particulars should include the first page of a property’s EPC, including the graph and rating.
“From January 9, 2013, when a building or building unit is offered for sale or rent, the asset rating of the building in the EPC must be stated in commercial media where one is available,” said the DCLG.
“This would include, but is not restricted to, newspapers and magazines, written material produced by the seller, landlord or estate or letting agent that describes the building being offered for sale or rent or the internet. This will increase transparency and provide the public with information about the energy efficiency of the building.”
The Property Energy Professionals Association (PEPA) criticised the U-turn for undermining the government’s green credentials.
“These latest changes make a total mockery of David Cameron’s pledge to be the greenest government ever. The changes have effectively watered down the government’s previous commitment to meet the targets set out by Europe and demonstrate a total lack of understanding of the value EPCs can offer both consumers and businesses,” said PEPA chairman Stephen O’Hara.