Do I Need an EPC to Sell My House?
In order to sell or rent any property, with only a few exceptions, an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) must have been applied for. These remain valid for 10 years from the date of the initial survey.
If you don’t have your EPC from when you bought or started renting your property, you will need to ask your agent or conveyancer for it, as they should be able to obtain it from the national EPC register.
In the case that your EPC is outdated, commissioning a new EPC is relatively inexpensive, often costing between £50 and £100.
What do EPC ratings mean?
EPCs provide information about a property’s energy usage and the typical costs involved.
They have a rating system from A-G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. Property ratings of C and above are generally considered to be energy efficient; however, the average rating of properties in the UK is a D rating.
Anything below a D rating means the property has an increased carbon footprint and will more than likely result in elevated energy costs for the property owner.
But, with energy prices so high and climate change increasingly at the forefront of people’s minds, home buyers are increasingly interested in homes with higher EPC ratings.
The higher the rating, the lower the energy bill and, therefore, the more affordable the home is to maintain after purchasing. This is why more and more banks are offering ‘green mortgages’ that aim to incentivise homeowners to invest in improving the energy efficiency of their properties.
How to improve your EPC rating
If your EPC rating is medium or low, then you may want to consider upgrading the energy efficiency of your house in these areas; windows, the size of your living space, solar panels, wall and loft insulation and replacing the boiler with a heat pump.
In the case of solar panels, there are a few relevant conveyancing considerations. You can read about them here.
Meanwhile, insulation has no conveyancing issues. The only reason a heat pump would have any issues is if you needed to get planning permission when you installed it, for example, if it was within a metre of your neighbour’s boundary. If this were the case, you would need to supply the planning permission document to your conveyancer.
You can sell your property without having an EPC, as long as you have ordered one. This is because you are able to put your property on the market as soon as your EPC has been commissioned. Failure to provide an EPC when selling your property could result in a fine.