Over 35,000 E-rated properties are being let illegally in the UK because their Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are so inaccurate, it has been claimed.
Proptech firm Spec says this means the properties are likely to be below the minimum legal standard required. Its research also reveals that overall 2.5 million EPCs across the UK are erroneous because the size of the property was originally measured inaccurately.
Consequently, one in four EPCs are based on imprecise measurements that are more than 10% from their actual size.
The problem has been created by the ‘out-dated’ measurement techniques of many Domestic Energy Assessors, it is claimed. The average size discrepancy discovered by Spec’s research was 8.6% or 87 sq ft.
Assessors use simple averages or standardised values rather than actual measurement of many features that are relied on to calculate the EPC score and rating, such as volume of a property.
Just a 1% change in area can result in a one-point change in EPC score, which in turn can alter the overall EPC rating.
Current legislation requires landlords from April 2020 to ensure that their properties achieve a rating of between A and E.
“Inaccurate EPCs present serious challenges and risks not only to property professionals, consumers and estate agents – but also the environment,” says Anthony Browne, one of the authors of Spec’s Impacts of Inaccurate Area Measurement on EPC Grades report.
“It means tens of thousands of landlords are unwittingly renting out their properties, opening them up to the risk of fines of thousands of pounds through no fault of their own.”