If you are a first time landlord sometimes it can seem that Letting Agents are speaking a different language.

“Have you got your EPC, EICR. No, that’s an EIC, how about your Gas Safety, sorry that’s a service record”. It is a minefield that even we struggle to make our way through, so I thought it might be helpful to put together a quick guide on the three main safety certificates you will need, and the pitfalls that can come along with them.

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)- If you have spent any time at all trudging through Rightmove you will undoubtedly have seen the rainbow color charts on each of the adverts, hopefully. These charts rate the energy efficiency of a property, ranging from an A to G, much like the old GCSE scores. There are a number of items that can affect the final score of a home, has it got cavity wall insulation, a combi-boiler etc. The two main bits of information to know here are that current guidelines are that a property has to above an F rating to be legally rented, however, this is due to change come 2025, when the minimum rating will be a C. This is important to take into account when looking for a new property, as it could be an unexpected additional cost two years down the line if you don’t do the proper research.
  • Gas Safety Certificate- this is commonly confused by the layman as being the same as an annual boiler service, the main difference being that the gas engineer here should, again hopefully, test all gas appliances within the home, including gas hobs, fireplaces etc. These are required annually, and have been a part of the lettings requirements since 1998.
  • Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)- the third, and perhaps least well known, of the safety certificate trifecta. Entered into law in 2019 these are the newest of the legislative certificates, and they have brought a whole host of confusion. At their most basic, the EICR checks to make sure that the electrical system in a property are up to regulation (the 18th edition specifically). Where this can become tricky is if some electrical work has been carried out you should receive something called an EIC, helpful in that it sounds exactly the same. This certificate will only be valid for the works carried out, not the whole property, UNLESS there has been a full re-wire, in which case it is absolutely fine. Confusing right?

Hopefully, if this helps at least one person with their next purchase, then it was worth typing out.

As always if you have any questions in regards to lettings or investment please do not hesitate to get in touch on 0161 249 5160, or email me directly on markdiamond@julianwadden.co.uk