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Question

Energy Performance Certificates (England) | Prescribed Information (England)

EPC

18 Oct 2017 | 6 comments

  1. In a block of flats, does the freeholder have any responsibility to get an EPC done? Or does ‘landlord’ mean just ‘leaseholder’?

  2. I own a flat in a listed building and the lease prohibits any ‘development’ to the flat or any ‘structural or external change alteration or addition in or to the premises’. The windows are very large indeed and of an unusual design. I don’t see a way of improving the heat loss through them without completely changing their character. So I doubt the freeholder would allow it, even if I wanted to do it. Would I be exempt from doing that?

  3. The epc recommends internal insulation of the walls. Does this count as ‘development’?

  4. Ditto insulation of floors.

  5. Also, having made enquiries, I am concerned that adding that insulation the walls would create problems of condensation. Could I apply for an exemption on that ground? (I assume I would have to prove probably moisture with some kind of professional report.)

Answer

6 Comments

  1. guildy

    Landlord means the leaseholder in your case.

    What level is the EPC – has it achieved an “E” rating?

  2. Danny

    No it’s a G (14). Very low although strangely I didn’t need the heat on all the time in December, but that cuts no ice I’d guess.

    Recommendations are 1. Internal or external wall insulation and 2. Floor insulation (suspended floor). These would bring it up to a D (59).

    EPC is dated May 2015. This tenancy began Feb 2017.

  3. guildy

    Thought might have been able to save a lengthy reply!

    The government has literally just published guidance for the upcoming minimum standard regulations available here.

    Improvements are only required if they can be done at no cost to the landlord and via funding from government, local authorities etc. Therefore, if funding is not available for the measures, the improvements will be exempt.

    There is a further exemption where consent to do works (such as from a freeholder) has not been able to be obtained. Reasonable efforts must be made to obtain consent and examples are provided in the linked guidance.

    There are other exemptions as you describe (such as if the works would devalue the property or insulation would cause damage). The guidance has lots of examples.

    If the property is exempt (for whatever reason), the property must be registered on a public database which is regularly checked by local authorities for enforcement purposes. It is an offence to place a property on the register if it was not truly exempt.

    From what you describe, we believe your property may be suitable for the register of exempt properties although you will need to collate quite a lot of evidence to prove the property cannot be brought up to an “E”.

    The exemption lasts for five years and is not transferred to any new owner. If you sold the property, the new owner would need to apply for their own exemption.

    • Danny

      Thanks very much. Looks as though a proper read of the guidelines is essential.

      But from what I understand so far, perhaps the easiest way to begin will be to see if there is funding for potential works, because if the answer is ‘no’, then that invokes an exemption and there is no need to get costly professionals to assess the property.

      I will let you know how I get on, as it might benefit other Members.

      Best wishes and thanks again.

  4. mtighe

    Also don’t forget that as a listed building all works and alterations need listed building consent, even internally. So if you were to apply for this , your local conservation officer would almost certainly object – wall insulation has the potential for loss of original fixtures and details. There is also much evidence/debate to suggest it can cause permanent damage to historic structure through the trapping of moisture and condensation. Some recent research by Historic England (HE) also suggests that traditional structures are much better at insulating than the crude Epc calculations would suggest (which could explain your December experience). A turned down application for listed building consent would be a cheap way of getting expert opinion and you are exempt from the changes if you cannot get the relevant consent. You could consider secondary glazing. It is recommended by HE because it does not remove or alter any of the original features and it is completely reversible. I believe it does not need any consents (although worth checking with conservation officer) Cheaper than double glazing too. Modern versions are much more discreet than the clunky old 70’s stuff. I think there is company called ‘selecta glaze’ you could google which does some smart versions but there are others of course.

  5. Danny

    Thank you very much, mtighe.

    I will contact the conservation officer in a couple of weeks – am away for a fortnight – and post an update in due course.

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