Keeping warm at home

Energy performance in private rented homes

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

An EPC tells you:

  • A property's typical energy use and costs;
  • recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money; and
  • the overall energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

EPCs are valid for 10 years. You can check if a property has an EPC free of charge on the EPC Register.

When renting a house out, landlords must:

  • Provide a valid EPC free of charge to any prospective tenant at the earliest opportunity. If no EPC is provided, a section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notice cannot be served.
  • Ensure that the EPC rating for the house is E or better (or register an exemption), otherwise the house cannot be lawfully rented out.
  • Not unreasonably refuse a tenant's request to undertake certain energy efficiency measures.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in rented homes

Since April 2018, most properties that are rented on an assured, assured shorthold, or regulated tenancy, must have an EPC rating of at least E before the tenancy is renewed or the house is rented out to a new tenant.

From 1 April 2020, this minimum standard will apply to all privately rented properties, even if the tenancy hasn’t changed.

Requirement to carry out improvements

A landlord is required to make energy efficiency improvements within F or G rated properties where the cost of works does not exceed the current cap of £3500 inc VAT. Landlords who are installing relevant energy efficiency improvements may, of course, aim above and beyond the current minimum requirements of an E rating if they wish.

A tenant may request permission from their landlord to undertake energy efficiency measures in a way specified in their tenancy agreement. If consent is not granted a tenant may serve a notice on the landlord (a “tenant’s request”) requesting the landlord’s consent to the making of one or more relevant energy efficiency improvements. The landlord must not unreasonably withhold consent. Government guidance is available.

Exemption from requirement to carry out energy efficiency works

If the property has an F or G rating, and the landlord thinks the property qualifies for an exemption from the minimum energy efficient standard, they will need to register the exemption on the National PRS Exemptions Register. They will need to give the reason for the exemption and have proof of exemption. Registration is free.

Enforcement

The council is responsible for enforcing this legislation. We may issue a fine if incorrect information has been entered onto the exemptions register or a substandard property is rented. The total maximum financial penalty per property per breach is £4000. The council may also publish details of the breaches on the National PRS Exemptions Register. It is a landlord’s duty to ensure that a sub-standard property is not let.