Is the role of an EPC growing in Conveyancing?
What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate is required whenever a property is built, sold, or rented. It is a legal requirement for the seller to provide the buyer with an EPC. A rating of "A" means that the property is classed as highly efficient with a rating of "G" meaning that the property is at the lower end of the efficiency scale.
How long is an EPC valid?
The Energy Performance Certificate lasts for 10 years from the date it is issued.
What is changing?
The government is looking at calling on lenders to help improve the energy performance of properties in the UK. Soon lenders may be asked to track and disclose annually the average rating of the properties they are lending against. The government are also proposing that lenders should consider the ratings as part of their criteria and encourage additional borrowing for those properties which are greener (green mortgages).
What are Greener Mortgages?
Virgin Money recently announced its Greener Mortgages for borrowers buying eco-friendly new-build houses, while Nationwide offers cashback to energy-efficient homeowners.
Virgin Money’s Greener Mortgages reward customers who buy greener, new-build homes which have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Predicted Energy Assessment (PEA) rating of A or B.
Meanwhile, borrowers who buy energy-efficient homes can now earn up to £500 cashback with the new Nationwide mortgage.
What if I am buying to let out the property?
On the 1st April 2018, legislation was put in place to prevent domestic properties with the lowest ratings, of F and G, being rented. Rental properties must have a minimum EPC rating of at least E.
If you are looking to purchase a property with an EPC rating of F or G, some lenders will allow you to secure the property via the initial part of the product - a bridging product. This bridging loan will allow you to complete the necessary work to bring the property up to a lettable standard.