Do you own and let a listed building; do you need an EPC?

You may have read our recent blog (click here if you missed it) regarding the new regulations for private landlords granting Assured Shorthold Tenancies (‘ASTs’), which provide that a landlord’s (section 21) notice to quit is invalid unless the landlord has given the tenant 3 documents prior to the grant of the tenancy, one of which is an energy performance certificate for the dwelling (‘EPC’).  However, does this apply to a listed building?

The general consensus appears to be that listed buildings are exempt from the requirement to provide an EPC to the tenant before the grant of a tenancy.  However, there is no express exemption in the regulations for listed buildings and the regulation dealing with this point is not clear.

Listed buildings are exempt but only “insofar as compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance”.  The test for ‘certain minimum energy performance requirements’ is not defined; compliance is therefore difficult.  The government has not clarified the position but the general view (for example, from government and public body websites) appears to be that listed buildings do not need an EPC. 

In conclusion, is a landlord required to produce an EPC for a listed building prior to granting an AST?  The consensus appears to be ‘no’, but this is unfortunately not certain.

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