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Things to consider when renting

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7. Suitability - energy and heating

All tenancies that start after 1st August 2007 are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate. This will show you how efficient the property is in terms of gas supply, electrical supply and insulation. Ask to see this before you sign your tenancy agreement. This will give you an idea if your property is going to be costly to keep warm. You should also check what sort of heating system is in the property, as electric storage heaters are often more expensive to run than gas central heating systems.

As from the 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations under the Energy Act 2011 will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. There are exemptions to this rule that can be applied for no more than 5 years.

A tenant cannot be charged for an EPC by the landlord. An EPC must be completed every ten years.