Important considerations if you are sharing a house with your partner. #solicitors #cohabitation #family #lawyers
Do you know where in the world your investments are? #investments #lawyers #cornwall #probate #solicitors
The terms libel, slander and defamation are often used interchangeably in everyday use. But what do these terms ac…
Whilst most powers of attorney appoint family members, there are times when a professional may be a better choice…

Energy Performance Certificates – Do They Matter?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) measure the energy efficiency of a building and evaluate potential improvements in that building’s efficiency. You may have a prior awareness of EPCs, but does the energy efficiency rating afforded by an EPC actually matter?

The Government has introduced legislation that seeks to improve energy efficiency in tenanted property. This applies to both residential and commercial property, so if you are a landlord you should be aware of your obligations and the potential penalties for non-compliance.

Landlords have been legally obliged to provide an EPC when marketing, selling or renting most properties since 2008. Until fairly recently, the actual rating did not have any legal consequences. This changed on 1 April 2018 when the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations came into force, rendering it unlawful to let any property (residential or commercial) with an EPC rating of F or G. This obligation currently applies to new lets and to tenancy renewals, but will also apply to existing tenancies in due course: from 1 April 2020 for domestic properties and from 1 April 2023 for non-domestic properties.

These obligations are not absolute. For example, if a landlord has made all relevant energy efficiency improvements to a property and it is still rated F or below, the landlord can apply for the property to be exempt from this requirement of the new Regulations. Other exemptions beyond the scope of this note are also available.

The Regulations also contain a right for tenants of domestic property to request the Landlord’s consent to carry out works that would improve energy efficiency. The Landlord’s consent must not be unreasonably withheld (i.e. there must be a good reason for refusing such works) even if the Lease does not contain this right or even prohibits such works being carried out.

Why Should Landlords Care?

After giving notice to a landlord of a breach of the EPC rating requirement, fines may be issued of up to £4,000 for domestic properties and £150,000 for non-domestic properties. The enforcement authority will also be able to publish details of the breach on a public register.

What to Do in Practice – Landlords and Tenants

In light of the potential penalties, it is well worth landlords both ensuring that newly let properties meet the required energy efficiency standard and scheduling works to ensure that properties already let will meet the obligations due to come into force over the next five years. It is inadvisable to assume that just because a property currently holds an EPC rating of E this rating will not change. Whilst the rating criteria should be the same across the board, there is some subjectivity involved and it is not a given that two different energy assessors would grade a property the same. Furthermore, as properties become worn down over time, energy efficiency may decrease.

Ensuring that the EPC rating is well above the threshold will eliminate the chance of inconsistencies between different assessors causing a once-compliant property to fall foul of the Regulations when a new tenant is due to move in. This will also ensure that the property is prepared for any rise in the minimum energy efficiency standard in the future, which is likely to occur.

It is worth noting that the Regulations only apply to properties that actually have an EPC rating of F or G. If a property does not have an EPC and continues to be let to the same tenant on 1 April 2020/2023, the landlord will not need to improve the standard of energy efficiency and an EPC will only need to be commissioned once a new grant or renewal of lease is carried out. It is worth pointing out that new landlords cannot simply refuse to commission an EPC, as a valid EPC must be provided in this circumstance.

There are two major ways in which the Regulations could have significant impacts on leases:

• Open market rent reviews may be affected. If the EPC gives a rating of F or G the tenant may argue that the property cannot legally be let and that therefore the rent cannot increase.

• If an EPC rating is reduced to F or G during the term of a lease, tenants could also claim that the works the landlord would need to undertake to improve the energy efficiency rating of the property could supersede landlords’ works in relation to dilapidations claims, thus reducing landlords’ alleged losses arising from such claims.

In consequence, landlords will want tenants to be prevented from having an EPC commissioned unless one is legally required. This will restrict tenants’ potential ability to cause a property’s rating to be amended mid-term from, for example, E, to F or G, impact rent review or dilapidations claims. Tenants will want to have this right as they could argue that the EPC should be as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

Landlords will also want to think about restricting tenants’ ability to carry out alterations that could adversely impact the property’s energy efficiency and could therefore lead to the landlord being obliged to carry out works at the end of the lease to rectify this.

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, you should ensure that any lease entered into contains the necessary clauses to ensure that your preferences are adequately documented.

These notes are intended for information purposes. They are not a full statement of the law and should not be relied on as specific legal advice.




Valuing an estate for probate

Do I need a cohabitation agreement?

Have you had an accident involving a horse?

Planning, Construction & Development

Preparing to sell your Launceston property

The Need for Updating Wills

Debt recovery and how we can help

Claiming compensation for a serious road traffic accident

Planning Disputes

Residential Sale and Purchases

Information to gather for your probate solicitor

Accidents, Compensation & Personal Injury

Property Disputes

What type of will do I need?

Had an Accident in Someone's Home?

Ten common debt recovery mistakes

How to choose an executor to administer your estate when you die

The ultimate personal injury and accident claim checklist


Putting your legal affairs in order

Your responsibilities when you have people working in your home

10 reasons to appoint a Personal Injury solicitor

The risks of DIY probate

Does your lawyer progress your accident claim efficiently and provide you with a personal and professional service? Can I change solicitors for my accident claim?

Why you should always use a solicitor to prepare your will

Five problems with a leasehold property

Making a will when you retire

Employment Disputes

Buying your first home with a small deposit

Site assembly for commercial development

Meeting your conveyancing solicitor, what you need to prepare

Landlords’ options for enforcing commercial tenants’ obligations

Untangling Overseas Assets


Do you know the difference between…

When to consider appointing a professional attorney

Should I get a cohabitation agreement?

The Right to Make Noise

Ill-health pension transfer not liable for IHT

Legal Time Limits - why so important?

Would you pay a premium for a south-facing garden?

Video-witnessed wills to be made legal

New Planning Relaxation Is Not the Whole Storey

How to minimise delays in obtaining Grant of Probate

Could you benefit from the Green Homes Grant?

A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM: new electrical safety regulations for residential tenancies

Property of Cornish residents who die without a will goes to Prince Charles

What effect could the new changes to stamp duty have on property sales?

Staying safer in video meetings

Making Sure Your Great New Home Comes With Clean Air

Property Market Re-Opens in England

Coronavirus: Wills and Powers of Attorney FAQ

Medical Care Received Not Up to Scratch?

Accident or Injury Involving a Dog?

Social Distancing No Obstacle for Parnall's Mobile Document Signing Team

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Commercial Property Legal FAQs

Rent Charge Suspensions: Protecting Your Interests

Been Asked to Sign an Employment Settlement Agreement? Seek Advice Urgently...

Services Update: Continuity of Legal Service Provision

Advising You in Uncertain Times

Coronavirus Update

Could carelessness on social media land you in court?

Is an electronic signature on a commercial property document acceptable?

What happens when there is no health & care LPA in place

Social Media Training for Businesses

Gazundering, what it is and how to avoid it

Relief from forfeiture – what happens if the tenant forgets to pay the rent?

Not so safe at work - compensation for an accident at work

New organ donation law: giving you control

Running a business from home

Have nude photos of you or your teenager been posted online?

Landowners’ rights and the Electronic Communications Code

Building in your back garden

Christmas is a time for giving (and inheritance planning)

Buying the freehold of your leasehold house

Redeveloping an empty pub for commercial use

Why it takes time to obtain the Grant of Probate

Social Media: The unconscious privacy threat

Is your reputation being threatened?

Making a will after your spouse or partner has died

Interns celebrate completion of internship at solicitors

Selling your home in a flat market, some top tips

New Media and Communications Court list reflects surge in internet defamation claims by Laura Baglow

Has your personal information been shared without your permission?

Planning your escape to the country, what you need to consider – part 2

Government consultation on new national model for shared ownership

Choosing a partnership structure

Planning for what happens when you die by Deborah Adams

Changes to legislation could offer protection for tenants in the private rental sector

Move to the country - Part One

Will your septic tank still be legal in January?

The death knell for ‘kiss and tell’?

Selling your property at auction

Not looking so good - your guide to compensation for botched non-surgical cosmetic procedures

New threshold of seriousness in defamation proceedings

Legal considerations when building a granny annex

Choosing the right person for your power of attorney

Formal Interviews - Do you need legal representation?

Privacy rights and aerial images

Trustees’ duty to give information to beneficiaries

Taking your first commercial lease

Is your organisation protected from employee social media legal risk?

Have you been targeted by negative social media posts?

Farmers be alert when being inspected

Help for House Sellers?

Don’t let your digital assets end up in a digital grave

Development proposals and your local authority search

What can you do if your child is injured in a serious accident

NetRights welcomes new protection for social media users


Supreme Court recognises that social media is a “casual medium” in libel battle

Choosing the best conveyancer who is right for you

Making a will after a second or subsequent marriage

Option or promotion agreement – which is best for landowners?

Anonymous pub and restaurant online reviews leave a bad taste

Help to Buy – beware of some cracks in the structure

Understanding Lasting Powers of Attorney

Changes to Energy Performance Certificate for Landlords

Had a cycling accident? Your route to obtaining compensation

New year, new home: tips to sell your home in the New Year 

Tax Planning for your inheritance

Hearing loss: when your employer may be liable

Buying a home for your retirement, five things you need to consider

Farmers plan to diversify after Brexit

Ministers press ahead with probate fee shake-up - reports BBC News

Botched dental treatment? You may be entitled to compensation

Why a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney is a good idea

Will the new charge on building developments in Cornwall affect you?

Energy Performance Certificates – Do They Matter?

HMRC Challenging Stamp Duty Land Tax Payments

Ben Mitchell qualifies as a solicitor

The potential implications of Brexit on employment law

Appointing a guardian for your children

Houses in multiple occupation – new rules from October 2018

New Agriculture Bill published

Will Brexit affect my pension?

Dreaming of a holiday home? Sort out the legals before putting your feet up

Lasting Power of Attorney by Deborah Adams

Settled status after Brexit by Alexis Hager

How overage agreements can boost profits from your land

Top tips for first-time buyers

How Could Brexit Affect My Farm?

Wills & Succession in Spain by Deborah Adams

Brexit ­– an international and local view by Alexis Hager, Litigation

Capital gains tax - important facts for non-residents of the UK

Buying a home: the importance of making sure the seller is entitled to sell

Changing a will after someone has died: it is possible and it could save you money

Sad passing of Battle of Britain pilot who served with Parnall family member

Considerations when buying a heritage property

Disciplinary proceedings at work: guide for employers

Employers should have a disciplinary process in place, but just following this may not be enough to avoid falling foul of the law and exposing yourself to the risk of an employment tribunal claim.

Selling your land through a conditional contract

How to extend a lease on a flat or buy a share of the freehold

Delayed Health Checks

New Marketing Team at Parnalls Solicitors Ltd

Social media: snooping in the recruitment process

A landlord's guide to tenant alterations

Equity release, your questions answered

Short term lettings: avoiding the pitfalls

How to apply for a grant of probate

Are you entitled to a fee refund for your Lasting Power of Attorney?

What to do when someone dies

Business disputes: can they ever be avoided?

Accident at work: what to do and when if you have been injured

Director appointment

Business rates: a financial ticking time bomb (Part 2)

Conveyancing quotes: what you need to know

New appointment in Litigation

Mental Health - we can get you the help you need

Business rates: a financial ticking time bomb (Part 1)

Leaving a gift to charity in your will

Parnalls helps two leading Devon organic meat companies to become one

Katherine Flashman Kitson is appointed Governor of St Joseph's School, Launceston

Financing your home purchase (Part 2)

New rules on debt recovery may delay payment of consumer debts

Making financial gifts during your lifetime (Part 2)

Our Guide to Lasting Powers of Attorney for Your Business Interests

Financing your home purchase (Part 1)

Careless replies to pre-contract commercial property enquiries could land you in trouble

Making financial gifts during your lifetime (Part 1)

Property referrals and recommendations - what to consider

World Alzheimer’s Day: Three-step plan to get your legal affairs in order

Legal considerations when setting up a business (Part 2)

How to avoid falling victim to property fraud

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease? Part 3

Top 10 reasons to use a solicitor to make your lasting power of attorney

What legal considerations do I need to think about when setting up a business? (Part 1)

Why you need to update your will as soon as you decide to separate or divorce

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease?  Part 2

The Bank of Mum and Dad: top tips when lending money to your children  


The importance of insurance when life trips you up

The role of a court appointed deputy

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease?

How do I know if my relative has the mental capacity to make a will?

Motorcycle accidents - what to consider when claiming compensation

Top tips for pushing your house purchase through as quickly as possible

How does the new inheritance tax perk work?

Jargon-busting guide to Lasting Power of Attorney

What happens when mum or dad are ill and can’t make decisions?

How firms can take advantage of the rise of alternative finance

Should Stamp Duty be abolished?

Teenager paralysed after falling off a horse awarded £3 million in compensation

RBS to pay investors £800 million

Not happy with your accident claim lawyers?

Parnalls expands its litigation team

Hard work pays off for our Trainee Legal Executive.

Katherine Scott Flashman Kitson celebrates 20 years

How will the new Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) affect you?

Exciting new business hub unveiled in North Cornwall

Be careful what you post on Facebook

Parnalls rolls out the support at Wadebridge Wheels

New trainee solicitor appointed

Mark Parnall comments on Brexit in The Law Society Gazette