As a general rule, if you want to sell your house, you will need to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place. There are, however, a few occasions where an EPC will not be necessary to sell your property.
EPCs help to tell prospective buyers about the energy efficiency and potential running costs of a property. They also highlight any potential improvements that could be made along with the cost and potential savings such improvements will bring.
If you want to know more about EPCs, check out our post on what is an energy performance certificate. It was written from the point of view of buyers but it’s still relevant to you as a seller.
Who Needs An EPC?
As we mentioned, almost everyone who wants to sell a property in the UK is required by law to hold a valid EPC for their property. You will also need one if you are building or renting out a property. There are, however, a few notable exceptions.
You do NOT need an EPC if the building is:
- A temporary building that will be used for no longer than 2 years
- A small stand-alone building with a total ‘useful’ floor space of less than 50 square metres
- Due to be demolished
- Holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
- A listed building
- A residential building intended to be used less than 4 months a year
There are also a couple of other buildings such as places of worship and agricultural buildings that do not need an EPC. You can check the current list on the Government website.
You also will not need an EPC if your property still has a valid certificate in place. This can happen if you bought the property fairly recently as certificates are issued to a property, not an owner, and therefore are transferable even when the property changes ownership.
How Long Is An EPC Valid For?
An EPC is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. As EPCs were first introduced in 2007, that means the very first ones to be issued began to expire in 2017.
If you bought your property in the last 10 years, the chances are it will still have a valid EPC in place. You can check the official EPC register to see if your property is covered and view your certificate.
Remember, EPCs are issued for the property, not the owner, so even if you didn’t get the EPC carried out, you can still use the certificate when selling your home, if it’s valid.
How Much Does An EPC Cost?
Typically, you’ll be looking at between £70 and £100 to have an EPC carried out, although it can be a little more or less depending on who you use.
All EPCs are equal though, you don’t get more by using a more expensive service, so generally the cheaper the better. That is, of course, providing the company is reliable and an accredited assessor.
Most estate agents will offer to carry out an EPC for you when you instruct them. All of the online estate agents we feature, for instance, offer such a service.
You do not have to use your selling agent to get your EPC, but often, it’s the easiest option and doesn’t cost any more than going direct.
Who Carries Out An EPC?
To carry out an EPC, you need to be an accredited assessor. Therefore, it’s not something you can do yourself.
Most estate agents will have relationships with accredited assessors in your area and they will arrange for your EPC to be conducted on your behalf.
However, if you prefer to go direct and find your own assessor, you can use the official EPC website for properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or the official EPC register for properties in Scotland.
So, do you need an EPC to sell your house? The above information should help you answer that question, but in most cases, the answer will be yes. But, be sure to check whether your property still has a valid certificate in place before paying an accredited assessor.