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UK property landlords think energy certificates are a waste of time

The National Landlords Association, the UK's leading representative body for private-residential landlords, said landlords calling its Advice Line are questioning the need for the certificates.

By law, most tenancies in England and Wales which began on or after October 2008 are required to have an EPC. This details the energy efficiency of a property, giving a standard energy and carbon emission efficiency grade from 'A' to 'G', with 'A' as the most efficient.

However the NLA said that EPCs are often at the bottom of tenants' lists of requirements, if there at all. Many tenants are unaware of the law, and even if a property receives a low grade, it does not seem to affect whether a tenant will want to live in a property. Given that the average efficiency grade is 'D', at the lower end of the scale, it seems that EPCs have a limited influence on a tenant's choice of property.

'It seems many landlords are left wondering about the effectiveness of an EPC. What has become apparent is that tenants don't seem to be interested in them, or use them as a deciding factor in choosing a rental property,' explained Sussanne Chambers, a director of the NLA.

'As always, it is the responsible landlords who have commissioned EPCs and for whom they are now part and parcel of their lettings business,' she added.

However, a leading provider of Home Information Packs responded by saying that the property industry should promote the benefits of EPCs and make tenants more aware that they exist.

Jon Evans, managing director of, pointed out that the latest YouGov survey on Home Information Packs showed 30% of owners do act on the recommendations from the EPC.

'Tenants and landlords can also benefit financially from the environmental advice found in the report. For example, simply insulating the loft can save over £500 in energy bills on the average four bed house,' he added.

An EPC is valid for 10 years. Landlords do not have to register a new EPC each time a new tenancy starts but they are required to give a copy of the EPC to new tenants.