EPC rule changes leave landlords confused

Lack of information about imminent rules changes for marketing private rented homes is confusing landlords and letting agents.

From Monday, January 9, 2013, rules about what information to include from an energy performance certificate (EPC) change – but just what information has to be included on rent particulars is unclear.

Until Christmas, government guidelines suggested the first page of the EPC, including the rating graph and overall rating assessment should be part of all rental particulars for a property.

However, over the break, the rules were changed and now, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) only wants the energy rating listed.

Meanwhile, shared homes – houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) – are exempt from the changes.

The DCLG explains EPCs aim to give energy data to tenants renting a self-contained building or part of a building, like a flat., and as HMOs are not self-contained, no EPC information is needed on advertising listings.

Online DCLG guidance says: “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.

“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) feels the rule changes undermine the government’s green principles.

“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.

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