What is an EPC?
An EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate, issued by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor after surveying the energy efficiency of your property. The certificate itself outlines
- Energy stored and lost by the property
- The properties carbon emissions and the buildings environmental impact
- Suggestions on how you could improve the efficiency of the property
- The approximate running costs of the building.
The certificate bands your property between A to G, is also valid for 10 years from the date of issue and can be used for the rental or eventual sale of your property.
Once the assessment has been completed the property will be rated between bands A to G. Band A being the highest and most energy efficient and band G being the lowest and least energy efficient. It is common for recently built properties to have a higher energy efficiency due to the use of high quality insulation and newer building materials to keep heat and energy stored for longer. This does not mean that if your property is not new, that it will show up terribly on an energy efficiency report. In fact the average energy rating in Northern Ireland is 50, classed as Band E.
It has been a legal obligation for landlords to have an EPC in place for their property if it is on the open market for sale or for rent, since 30th December 2008. An EPC is also required for new building constructions being completed since 30th December 2008. The local council will enforce a non-compliance fine of £200 per complaint received if your property is found to be without an EPC and this applies to landlords and
Although you must have an EPC in place before advertising your property, the good news is that an EPC doesn’t cost the earth. You will find that depending on the size of your property you could expect to pay anywhere between £100.00 to £130.00 including VAT for one in the open market.
However, consider ordering an EPC with us at Lettings Company and we’ll make the necessary arrangements on your behalf, with a trusted energy assessor and we can save you money! Ask you local lettings specialist.
Landlords Gas Safety Certificates
It is a legal requirement for landlords to have a gas safety certificate in place for your boiler system and boiler flue as well as any appliances that use gas, whether they are portable or permanent. An engineer will attend your property and run a series of standard tests across your gas systems to ensure that they are safe to use and once they have been deemed satisfactory, will issue a gas safety certificate which is valid for 1 full year from the date of issue.
As a landlord it is your obligation to ensure a new gas safety certificate is in place before every new tenancy that takes place at your property. Should your tenants stay for longer than a 1 year period then the gas safety certificate must be renewed annually by a gas safe engineer.
A valid landlords gas safety certificate should be issued by a Gas engineer who is a member of the Gas Safe Register. The gas safe register is the governing body that ensures industry compliance across the UK and emphasises the integrity of the engineer you’ve found to perform the work. You can check if your engineer is part of the register by clicking the link below. www.gassaferegister.co.uk
In some cases, the standard checks involved when issuing a gas safety certificate can throw up some issues with your gas appliances or systems. It is incredibly important to have any problems rectified immediately otherwise you are putting your tenant’s safety at risk. It is illegal to have a tenancy move-in or continue with non-compliant gas systems installed, so quite simply – “when it comes to gas, safety is paramount”.
Landlord’s gas safety certificates cost roughly between £90.00 to £100.00 including VAT. Although we would hope that your gas systems are compliant with current legislation, complications arising are uncontrollable and any rectifications are likely to be charged in addition to these estimates.
If you need a gas safety certificate and the assurance of a gas safe engineer at the best price, consider speaking to your Local lettings specialist about ordering a Gas Safety Certificate we will point you in the right direction or even take care of it for you.
PIR’s & EIC’s
(Periodic Inspection Reports and Electrical Installation Certificates)
As a landlord you are responsible for ensuring the electrics within your property are safe to use. Periodic Inspection Reports are an important part of preparing for a tenancy because they highlight risks that if left, could cause short circuiting, electrical faults and in some extreme cases fatal accidents.
A periodic inspection report of your property, once complete without complication, will provide you with a NICEIC Electrical Installation Certificate showing that for a period of 1 year from the date of issue, the electrical systems have been safety certified by a qualified electrician for use.
A valid Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) and NICEIC Electrical Installation Certificate can only be issued by a qualified electrician who is accredited with the electrical industry’s independent voluntary body, NICEIC. NICEIC offers leading certification services in the UK and is highly recognised for maintaining professionalism and regulatory standards within the electrical trade. The NICEEIC logo is highly recognisable and to check if your electrician is registered and not on the “wall of shame” for fake users of the accreditation, visit their website at:
A periodic Inspection Report (PIR) must be arranged before new tenants move in, and any works highlighted on the report should be complete in order to receive an Electrical Installation Certificate. It should then be organised annually once a tenancy is in situ to ensure the safe continual use of electrical sockets and supply within the property.
During a periodic inspection report (PIR) problems can occur that will need rectifying before an Electrical Inspection Certificate can be issued. Although any
additional works are likely to be charged in addition to the cost of the inspection, it is far more important to get the works sorted and not to leave a hazardous situation as this puts your tenants safety at risk. Having problems rectified and the certificate issued by an electrician will give both yourself and your tenant peace of mind and is the correct standard of practice as a landlord.
There are different types of inspections that can be arranged for different prices. Typically an NICEIC engineer performing a full Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) of a property will start at roughly £100.00 including VAT depending on the size of your property. This is the type of inspection and certification that we would recommend.
If you haven’t had your electrical installation inspected, speak to your local lettings specialist to see if you need one, what type of one you need and there’s a good chance we can pass you to someone that can help.
Every property being let must have a working smoke alarm system in place for the safety of its inhabitants. Depending on the size of your property dictates how many smoke alarms should be fitted in the property, but a minimum of two should always be in place. There are two types of smoke alarm system you can install, being battery powered or hardwired. The Hardwired option wherever possible is the safest option and can be fitted by a qualified NICEIC accredited electrician.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Although it is yet to be made a mandatory obligation for landlords, having a Carbon Monoxide Detector in the property is an important investment that we as a company recommend. Most realise that Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer as you cannot smell it or see it. If a carbon monoxide leak was to occur it would stem from the boiler itself, so by investing in a trustworthy Carbon Monoxide Detector and placing it either on top or underneath the boiler, or in the boiler cupboard with the boiler, it will keep your tenants safe from harm. A good Carbon Monoxide Detector should cost between £25.00 and £35.00 and should come with long life batteries.
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety and well being of anyone living in, or visiting your rental property. Accidents have happened, can happen and will happen again, which is why we strongly recommend that you protect yourself with appropriate landlords insurance cover.
Your current home insurance policy (unless specified) will not be designed for letting properties, which means if something goes wrong such as accidental damage caused by a tenant or burst water pipes, it could be you who picks up the cheque.
Landlords insurance has been specifically designed to cover scenarios that can arise when renting a property and provides you with comprehensive protection.
There are many products available to choose from and most are customisable to suit your specific requirements. There are a number of elements usually offered on a landlords insurance policy as standard, these are:
• Building Insurance Cover – protection incase of building damages as a result of burst pipes, fire, leakages etc.
• Public & Property Owners Liability – protection from public and personal claims resulting from an injury or loss of earnings due to a happening involving your property.
• Alternative Accommodation costs – protection that offers a fixed sum, portion, or percentage of your property value pay out, following an insured incident e.g. flood or fire, to alternatively accommodate your tenants.
• Loss Of Rent – protection ensuring you do not lose rental income following an insured incident.
• Glass and Lock replacement – protection provided in the event that these need to be changed or fixed
• Accidental Damage – Protection from having to pay for accidental damages made by your tenant.