Coronavirus: Government issues guidance on EPCs

New guidance outlining the need for Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) has been published by the government.

The guidance specifies that the requirement for landlords to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before they let the property out remains in place. Landlords should make sure this can be conducted in a safe manner, and should also ensure they follow the latest government guidance on moving home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Delaying a transaction

The government guidance on EPCs says that where a property is occupied, parties must endeavour to agree that the transaction can be delayed, so that an EPC assessment can proceed when stay-at-home measures to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) are no longer in place.

If moving is unavoidable and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, and a valid EPC is not available from the register, an assessment may need to be conducted. In these circumstances, again government guidelines on staying away from others to minimise the spread of the virus must be followed alongside the guidance for carrying out work in people’s homes.

EPC assessments can continue in cases where your property is vacant.

The guidance is also clear that no assessments should take place if any person in the property is showing symptoms, self-isolating or being shielded – if securing an EPC is critical landlords should seek to reschedule the appointment when it is safe to do so in accordance with Government guidelines on staying away from others.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Requirements for PRS homes

Since 2018 landlords in England and Wales have been unable to let their property to new tenants unless it has a minimum energy efficiency rating of an E (unless exempted) on its #EPC certificate. This law was extended to apply to existing tenancies on 1st April 2020.

  • If you’re a landlord looking for some advice on an issue relating to your lettings and coronavirus, check out our guidance for landlords here, which covers financial support, inspections and much more.

Written by Victoria Barker

Blog Post from Residential Landlords Association

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