The New Energy Performance Certificates
On the 6th April the new rules concerning Energy Performance Certificates came into effect, meaning that for any rental property – commercial or residential – an EPC must be commissioned before marketing to let, failure to do so could result in a £200 fine.
This tightening of the law means that letting agents and landlords now face more scrutiny from trading standards officers who are able to demand sight of documents held to ensure an EPC is available for the property or has been ordered. Tenants now also have the right to a copy of the EPC before signing any tenancy agreement or lease.
The new law also calls for letting agents and landlords to display the first page of the EPC with any online marketing – effectively stopping online marketing before an EPC has been obtained.
The online EPC can be a reduced image or in monochrome instead of colour so long as clicking on the image opens a legible copy of the first page. (Property118)
Rightmove and many of the other property portals however have taken the stand that “their listings are adverts and not particulars, and EPCs do not need to be carried. However, like CLG, they are putting the onus for legal obedience totally on agents.” (EECUK)
Within RentPro there is a designated area under the document tab for each property where you can store an Energy Performance Certificate. Once stored here and the property is marked to advertise this information will also be automatically sent to any of the portals that you are signed up too, thus making the information available for any prospective tenants.
The “new-look Energy Performance Certificate will give homebuyers (and prospective tenants) clearer information about the energy efficiency of their homes. Alongside the recommendations for improvements, the new certificates will indicate to the consumer whether they can be funded through the Green Deal.” (Communities and Local Government) For a letting agent this could be an opportunity to work with a landlord in arranging any recommended improvements to the property to be carried out during any void periods, which in turn may then allow the landlord to receive higher rent. Trouble Tickets allow you to track all maintenance and repairs that are being carried out on any property, and if you have given your landlords access to their information on RentPro then they too can keep up to date on any work being carried out at their properties.