EPCs are ignored by everyone, says consumer champion

by Property 118

18:16 PM, 2nd March 2011
About 8 years ago

EPCs are ignored by everyone, says consumer champion

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EPCs are ignored by everyone, says consumer champion

Energy Performance Certificates are a waste of time and money because no one acts on the advice, according to a consumer watchdog.

Landlords have to provide an energy performance certificate (EPC) by law when advertising a property to let – but they rarely act on the recommendations and tenants are cool on looking at the information when choosing a home to let.

Consumer Focus found 80% of people renting or buying a home failed to act on any of the advice aimed at making their homes more energy efficient and cheaper to run.

The survey also revealed only one in five people who had an EPC said it had any influence on their decision to buy or rent the property – but amazingly, when asked what features in a new home were most important to them, apart from price and size, one in seven people said energy efficiency mattered most.

Tenants urged to shop landlords without EPCs

Recent government figures show that carbon emissions coming from Britain’s homes are still at almost the same level as 20 years ago, having fallen just 3% between 1990 and 2009.

Liz Lainé, energy expert at Consumer Focus, said: Our survey shows that energy efficiency can influence people when choosing a new home. The information in the EPC is not helping people act on those concerns. With the Green Deal just around the corner, these certificates must become a trigger for action, not just a sheet at the bottom of a huge pile of home-buying paperwork.

‘Too many landlords and estate agents are getting away with selling and renting properties to people who have no idea how much heat their new home will leak. If prospective buyers and tenants could easily compare how much their energy bills are likely to be in different properties, they could negotiate a price based on their new home’s energy efficiency.”

Consumer Focus is also urging tenants to report landlords renting property without an EPC to Consumer Direct.



Comments

Dean

9:16 AM, 11th March 2011
About 8 years ago

This answers my question on whether EPCs ae still required since HIPs where stopped.

But what is the leal requirement on Electrical certificates ?

7:33 AM, 12th March 2011
About 8 years ago

I have to agree EPCs are a waste of time, I work in the energy field (commercial) and after recieving an EPC (done through an agent due to time commitments) I was very unhappy.
Several points were totally incorrect with the recommendations that were highlighted (if carried out) would have left the tennent being paid to heat the house. I did return the EPC with all the incorrect comments ammended but when the form came back it was just a copy of the original, after which I gave up.

Dave Stanger

11:03 AM, 12th March 2011
About 8 years ago

I have to agree, as a Landlord, just another item I have to purchase that is a total waste of money. But, goverment says you have to have.
As Darrel I have found many mistakes on the EPC some of it seems to be guess work. I even wondered if the surveyor had actually been in the property!

Dave Stanger

11:07 AM, 12th March 2011
About 8 years ago

As for electrics

Electrical appliances provided by Landlord should be tested once a year.
Mains wiring should have a certificate every five years.
Neither of these are legally required however if they caused a fire and you didnt have the certificates then you would be liable for damages, loss of life etc. Not worth the risk.

9:44 AM, 14th March 2011
About 8 years ago

Hi, this is a bit of a grey area. There is no specific requirement for electrical safety certificates although I am at a loss as to why there isn't, there should be. Landlords do have a general duty of care to tenants under the 1985 Landlord and Tenant Act which if there was a serious problem which was ignored by the landlord they could be prosecuted under. Regards, Fraser

16:24 PM, 14th March 2011
About 8 years ago

It's seems ridiculous that that the EPC takes into account how many energy saving light bulbs are in the property. This is hardly a 'fixed' item and shouldn't affect the basic energy rating. Also, our first floor maisonette was rated quite poorly, even though it effectively has under-floor heating (from the property downstairs) and the loft is fully insulated, boarded and carpeted (the inspector couldn't see under the boards so had to assume there was the minimum.
Waste of money.

Mark Alexander

21:20 PM, 15th March 2011
About 8 years ago

Perhaps I should run a Poll on how many landlords and tenants ever actually read them?

Have you ever lost a tenant based on the results of an EPC?

9:17 AM, 16th March 2011
About 8 years ago

no-one has ever shown any interest in them, they just ask what the average monthly cost has been, historically, for gas/elec.

3:24 AM, 20th March 2011
About 8 years ago

Looking at some of the comments, lets explain, The amount of light bulbs only makes a few points difference. No one shows any interest, maybe that's because no one sees them. Tenants may in the future will look at energy costs in renting and go with a property that is more energy efficient. They can use the EPC to see potential costs using the Governments EPC adviser tool regardless of when the EPC was conducted. If insulation cant be seen, why did you not show proof that it had been done? If you think the EPC is wrong complain to the DEA or report them. There are many good DEAs who will do the inspection correctly, but it seems that most landlords only want the cheapest provider, after all this certificate lasts 10 years so its hardly a big cost. There are cowboy DEAs who will only spend 5 mins doing an inspection, make sure it is done correctly. From my experience its shocking the attitude of landlords to saving energy costs, it would be a different story if they paid the bills. The EPC is a useful document but its a shame the tenants don't get to see it and landlords treat it as a joke. Why not say to your potential tenants that you have acted on the recommendations of the EPC to make you have low energy bills? Its not a lot to ask is it?

Mark Alexander

8:23 AM, 20th March 2011
About 8 years ago

One of my very long standing tenants is now in receipt of benefits. I wasn't aware until he contacted me recently to ask my permission to get cavity wall and loft insulation put in. It's not costing me anything as he's got a grant. I gave my permission of course. Another tenant who's wife had had a stroke asked my permission to have a downstairs bathroom put in, again grant funded. I have no objection to such requests subject to me being able to approve the contractors. What would be really good is if somebody could write a blog on grant funded works that landlords could advise tenants about. I think what most landlords object to is that most working tenants who live in new build houses and flats really don't put much value on EPC's. They are looking at location, facilities etc. so why bother having them. I think if EPC's were only required on houses above a certain age that may pacify landlords, especially if the EPC also came with a list of suggested improvements and grant providers that could be passed onto tenants. Landlord and Tenant would then feel they are getting something out of the deal.

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