Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is Property Assess?
A: I am an independent and fully qualified Domestic Energy Assessor (dipDEA) living in Winchester. I started producing residential EPCs in June 2008 and now cover the whole of Hampshire and some parts of the neighbouring counties.
Q: What is the law regarding when an EPC is needed to sell or rent my property?
A: It is your responsibility to ensure an EPC is available or has been commissioned before you market your property for sale or rent. As long as you have booked an Energy Assessor when the property goes to market, you have a further 28 days to ensure that the EPC arrives with your selling or letting agency.
If you are marketing the property yourself, the same law applies.
As part of my service, I can email a copy of your EPC to your selling or letting agent.
Q: I am going to rent out my residential property. Do I still need an EPC?
A: Yes you do and the certificate will be valid for 10 years for rental properties.
Q: How long does an EPC assessment take?
A: Typically around 45 minutes for a 3 bed semi. Complex properties with more bedrooms and extensions will take longer.
Q: How quickly will I receive the certificate after the survey?
A: If you ask Property Assess to produce your EPC, you will receive your certificate by email on the same day as the survey. For other suppliers, you will need to check with them.
Q: When do I pay for my EPC?
A: The EPC will need to be paid in full either before the inspection or on the day of inspection. I can only accept cash, cheque, bank transfer or Barclays Pingit. A receipt will be given to you for the fee paid.
Q: Can you produce floor plans for my property marketing?
A: Yes I can and these are produced to a professional standard in readiness for you or your agent to use straight away. The floor plans can be produced along with your EPC or separately if you don't need an EPC.
Q: Are you a Green Deal Advisor (GDA)?
A: No I'm not. I produce the Energy Performance Certificate in advance for you before you contact a Green Deal Provider who will then assign a GDA to your Green Deal application.
Q: How do I apply for the Green Deal Finance?
A: Ideally, you should have an EPC in place dated after 1st April 2012 which we can provide for you. You should then contact your preferred Green Deal Provider who will arrange for a Green Deal Advisor to visit you who will walk you through the remainder of the process. To find a Green Deal Provider, please click HERE.
Q: What is the EPC assessment procedure?
A: Dimensions of the property will be taken to ascertain the floor area and ceiling heights. Access to all rooms to obtain details on heating, radiators, glazing and lighting. The loft area is checked for insulation and details taken of the main and secondary heating systems along with any water cylinder installed. Photographs will need to be taken to support the site notes but are not released with the EPC.
Q: How long is the EPC valid for?
A: The EPC is currently valid for 10 years from the date of issue. This is for both resale and rental properties.
Q: Will my existing EPC still be valid for the new Green Deal finance initiative?
A: Yes it is still valid if you are selling or renting your property. However, the old EPC's will not allow you to access the new Green Deal finance to make energy improvements to your home with no up front cost. From 1st April 2012 the new Green Deal EPC's are released and you will need one of these to benefit from the Green Deal Scheme.
Q: I've lost my EPC / How can I check if a property has an EPC?
A: If you have lost your EPC you can obtain a copy from the Energy Assessor who originally produced it. If that is not available or not practical, you can obtain a copy from Landmark.
Alternatively, I can arrange to obtain a copy for you. The fee for this service is £10 payable by bank transfer.
Q: Can Property Assess offer advice on how to improve my home's energy efficiency?
A: Yes I can. I can look around your property without doing an EPC and then send you a written report on the areas of your property that could / should be improved to cut down your energy bills. There will be a fee for this service.
Q: Will my current spending on energy bills be taken into account?
A: No. The estimated energy bill calculations on the EPC are based on standardised living conditions and not the individual owner’s lifestyle.
Q: Will I invalidate the EPC if I carry out changes to my property?
A: No. You may point out to perspective purchasers that you have made the changes and therefore increased the energy efficiency rating. You may consider getting a revised EPC to fully represent the new energy levels. This will require a re-visit and further assessment cost.
Q: Will you need to lift floorboards or loft boards?
A: No. The assessment is based on visual inspection only. Access is needed to all rooms and the attic and cellar as well as the boiler, heating controls, hot water storage and gas / electricity meters.
Q: My loft insulation is hidden under boards?
A: Every effort is made to identify where insulation is included including cavities and loft area. Where no access is possible it will be necessary for the property owner to provide evidence of insulation. If this is not possible, we will include a default in the software where no access is possible and that will result in a lower insulation rating.
Q: I rent rooms in my home by the week / month / B&B. Do I need an EPC?
A: No you don't. If you rent out rooms in your home to lodgers, rent out individual rooms in a property, Ie, houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) / student lets or do B&B, under current guidelines, you do not need to have an Energy Performance Certificate.
Q: Do I need an EPC for renting / selling a caravan or mobile home?
A: No you don't. Only properties with a firm foundation / footings need an EPC.
Q: I rent out my property as holiday lets short / long term. Do I need an EPC?
A: An EPC will be required for a property rented out as a holiday let where the building* is occupied as a result of a short term letting arrangement and is rented out for a combined total of 4 months or more in any 12 month period.
* A ‘building’ is defined as a roofed construction having walls for which energy is used to condition the indoor environment. This definition excludes caravan, tents, mobile homes etc.
Q: I want to check the energy rating of my house but I am not looking to sell just yet?
A: This is a great idea and if you decide to move within 10 years the EPC will still be valid. If you are not moving, you will definitely benefit from finding out how good your home is at generating and retaining the energy used and what improvements could be made to reduce your energy bills.
Q: Will I own my EPC?
A: If you purchase your EPC direct from us then yes you will and this will need passing onto your selling or letting agent and / or solicitor for the sale of your home. If you order the EPC through an estate agent or your solicitor then you will need to check with them as to the ownership.
Q: Will estate agents and solicitors accept EPC’s produced by others?
A: Yes, although some may charge a nominal fee to check it’s legality.
Q: Can a house fail an EPC?
A: No. A professional EPC is an examination of the current energy efficiency and the effect on the environment. So the results of the assessment is based on the current levels of insulation and heating system.
Q: Will I need to be present during the inspection?
A: It is not a legal requirement to be present, however, it is highly recommended that you are. In addition to security and health & safety issues, the inspector may ask you for some information relating to your property. If you are unable to be present, then a responsible adult or agent may be present, but not any persons under the age of 16 on their own.
Q: My home is Leasehold. Do I still need an EPC?
A: Yes, unless the lease has less than 21 years to run.
Q: My home is less than 10 yrs old. Do I still need an EPC?
A: Yes, you do.
Q. I am having a new home built / I am having a new extension. Can you produce the EPC for this?
A. No I can't. You will need to use an On Construction
Energy Assessor. I can provide you with a contact if required.
Q. Do you produce EPC's for commercial premises?
A. No I don't. You will need to use a Non Domestic Energy Assessor for this.
Q: My home is grade 1 or 2 listed and/or thatched. Do I still need and EPC?
A: As of January 9th 2013, listed buildings that are marketed for sale or rent are exempt from EPC's. Thatched properties will still require an EPC unless, of course, it is listed. Listed buildings that are installing solar panels will still need an EPC to apply for the FiT.
Q. I am renting out a property or annexe on a licence to occupy. Do I need an EPC?
A. No you don't need an EPC for licence to occupy.
Q: What happens if I don’t get an EPC?
A: The initial fine is £200 but if your property remains on the market for sale or rent, then further fines can be incurred. For Solar installations, a failure to produce an EPC will result in your property only benefiting from the lower Feed in Tariff.