New regulations came into force this week changing the requirements on letting agents and landlords with regards to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).
Any EPC which is issued before 1 October 2012 will remain valid for the following 10 years. Therefore, the changes in legislation will only affect EPCs issued after 1 October 2012.
Letting agents and landlords are now required to make a copy of the EPC available to prospective tenants for inspection prior to entering into the tenancy.
If the property is currently let, the letting agent or landlord must provide a copy of the EPC and the related recommendations report to the tenant free of charge. These requirements do not apply where a letting agent or landlord is renewing a lease with an existing tenant. However it would be good practice to adopt this requirement.
Since 2008 there has been a requirement on the issuer of the EPC to register the EPC in the Scottish EPC Register. This is a register which is operated by the Energy Saving Trust on behalf of the Scottish Government. The new regulations introduce a registration fee of £1.15 for residential property and £5.36 for commercial property registered after 1 October 2012.
There are also further changes coming into force from 9 January 2013.
From this date, prospective letting agents or landlords will be required to include an EPC rating for their property in any advertisement for the property including newspaper advertisements, property schedules and internet advertising.
A “To Let” sign outside a property does not need to include an EPC rating.
Where a letting agent or landlord fails to comply with the advertising requirements, a Penalty Charge Notice may be issued within 6 months of the breach. The amount payable under a Penalty Charge Notice is up to £500 for residential property.
If letting agents and landlords require any further advice regarding the changes please contact a member of our Private Rented Housing Team.