Landlords operating within the private rented sector are being encouraged to start marketing their properties with Energy Performance Certificates before the mandatory date of 1st October 2008.
The National Association of Registered Home Inspectors (NARHI) believes there is a number of benefits for those who act now, rather than waiting until the last possible moment. Firstly, they will be seen to be acting responsibly by making available better information to tenants on the energy efficiency of the rental and also current running costs. Secondly, general lifestyle advice within the recommendations will encourage more efficient use of energy by the incoming tenant.
However, more importantly by getting an EPC now they will avoid an anticipated rush before the deadline, which may lead to a shortage of energy assessors. Which in turn could cause delays in the tenancy starting, (as it is a requirement of the regulations that tenants must be provided with a copy of the EPC before signing the tenancy agreement). Delays could lead to a loss of rent and also break the continuity in the property being let.
‘The Energy Performance in Buildings Directive’ laid in parliament in March 2007 requires all buildings to have in place an EPC before either sale or letting. The EPC under the terms of the directive will be valid for a period of ten years, therefore there is no reason why landlords should delay in providing them before the date. Within the owner occupied sector EPCs are already a key component of Home Information Packs (HIPs) and consumers are becoming more aware of their usefulness.
It is widely anticipated that EPCs will influence tenant choice in the future especially as the cost of energy continues to rise. Landlords of older homes may well find that implementing energy efficiency measures sooner rather than later will give them an edge in the market.
Hugh Dunsmore-Hardy Chairman of NARHI, said: “In addition to Landlords taking action now, responsible lettings and property management agents would be acting in their clients’ interests by bringing the need for EPCs to their attention and encouraging voluntary adoption before the 1st October 2008. With the lower than expected volume of new listings in the housing market for the time of year, the availability of Domestic Energy Assessors is guaranteed. More importantly why wait when clearly EPCs have an important role to play in reducing energy wastage.”
Website address – http://www.narhi.org/