Does a Park Home need an EPC?

Does a Park Home need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?


Posted by Justin Allitt in Park Homes, July 16, 2013

When buying a park home, there are plenty of things you will need to keep in mind.  The same applies if you sell a park home!  At Sell My Group, we want to make sure that all park homeowners know exactly what to expect from the park experience.  That’s why we regularly publish guides and posts to keep you up to speed.  In this guide, we’re going to look closely at whether or not you need an energy performance certificate, or an EPC.

An energy performance certificate will give homeowners full information on what to expect from gas and electricity bills.  Many people find them useful so they can budget in advance.  However, there is actually a lot of confusion out there over whether or not you need an EPC for a park property.  We have been to some parks who advise that you do, and others that don’t.  Therefore, we thought it was time we gave our readers a straight answer!

When Do You Need an EPC?

Properties will need to show an EPC under specific circumstances.  According to laws brought in back in 2011, this will also apply to holiday lets.  An energy performance certificate becomes necessary depending on the type of building you own or let.  For example, according to the law, most holiday accommodation lets will now need EPCs if you wish to let, though in some cases, you may be exempt.

If this is already confusing, don’t worry.  The Department for Communities and Local Governments offers a complete guide on whether or not your holiday let needs to issue an EPC.  In short, you won’t need an EPC if you let your holiday home for less than four months per year, or if you have an occupational licence. 

Otherwise, it is fair to expect that you will need an energy performance certificate.  This will apply to properties that have full enclosure; for example, four walls and a ceiling.  Providing your interior has energy conditioning, too, you’ll need to arrange for an EPC.  But how does this apply to park homes?

Do Park Homes Need an Energy Performance Certificate?

No – park homes do not need an energy performance certificate.  As official government advice states, park (mobile) homes are exempt from this rule.  This means that static caravans, too, are free from needing EPCs during sales, or in fact at any time.  EPCs can be very useful, but on the whole, they’re not necessary in these circumstances.

You may find that some agencies ask you to file for an EPC for a park home.  We recommend you challenge them on this basis!  If you pay for an EPC on a park home, you should ask for a refund immediately.  You may also wish to seek legal advice, or to work with a different agency!

The reason for the exemption is due to the construction of mobile homes.  Just as mobile properties have no listings with the UK Land Registry, they are free from various ties that apply to traditional buildings.  This does mean you won’t be able to get a mortgage on a mobile home, but at least you won’t have to pay for an energy performance certificate or any kind of stamp duty!

However, if you own a holiday home, intend to let and you fall within the government guidelines, then yes – you’ll need an EPC.

What Do Energy Performance Certificates Tell Us?

EPCs can tell us a lot about how a property performs.  While it’s clear park homes don’t need them, it’s worth looking deeper into EPCs for those of us who own holiday lets!

A certificate is actually more than just a single page of information.  It’s a full booklet!  EPCs are normally useful for letting you know how efficient your property is.  This can help renters and tenants understand how much their bills are going to be from quarter to quarter.  EPCs also help you understand how your property impacts on the wider environment.

Therefore, getting an EPC is a responsible move.  What it’s most useful for is letting you know how you can improve the efficiency of your property.  You’ll receive a scale for efficiency as well as a rating of environmental impact.  This calculates through letter grading from A to G.  For example, A-grade properties are the most efficient, while G-grade properties are the least so.

As mentioned, this information can be very useful if you want to cut down on energy bills.  If you genuinely care about how you affect the wider environment, too, it’s a good document to have.  You can cut down on carbon emissions with any manuals publishing this advice.

Who Handles an Energy Performance Certificate?

When it comes to arranging an EPC, it is the landlord of a property that needs to take initiative.  An EPC will be valid for up to 10 years, however, which means that you’ll only need to arrange for the document once every decade.  However, there are circumstances under which getting a new EPC might be a good idea.

For example, the energy efficiency of a property can change if you make any major upgrades.  For example, if you buy and fit new windows, or if you install a new heating system, the way your home performs is naturally going to change in a big way.  Therefore, in the interest of keeping within the law, you should make sure to update your EPC if you do upgrade your holiday property for any given reason.

It’s not just a good idea for tenants, but for you, too.  We’ll cover a little bit about how people feel about EPCs shortly.  However, the law is clear – for a holiday home, you are going to need to arrange for an EPC every decade if you want to let it out.  It’s clear to see why there has been some confusion over the years, but it’s good to get a feel for the facts, especially if you own a park home and want to make sure you’re within the remits of UK law.

Energy Performance Certificates – The Negatives

Believe it or not, there has been some argument over whether or not EPCs are actually necessary.  That is, of course, within the context of letting out holiday homes.

  • Some landlords argue that holidaymakers aren’t likely to care about energy rates.  This might stand to reason, particularly if they are only renting for short periods.  This may differ with longer stays, but on the whole, landlords don’t always see the need to market property based on energy performance and bills.
  • There’s also the point that, for the most part, holidaymakers don’t pay the bills – landlords do!  This might vary, of course, but on the whole, it’s not something you would expect when going away for a week or two.
  • Getting an EPC is an extra hassle that can add to the various paperwork and red tape that holiday landlords already need to cover.  There’s plenty of this in place already – however, it all ensures that holiday lets and certain properties keep within the boundaries of UK law.

Energy Performance Certificates – The Positives

Of course, we need to consider both sides!  EPCs are actually recommendable in a variety of circumstances.  This can vary depending on who’s buying and letting, of course.

  • An EPC is a mark of responsible letting.  In some cases, landlords may prefer using an energy performance certificate to help market their property.
  • There are plenty of people who are environmentally-conscious.  Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to expect people to choose holiday homes to rent which offer the cleanest living standards.
  • It can also give some reassurance to people who want to rent or move to property during the winter.  For obvious reasons, energy prices are likely to cost more at colder times of year.
  • EPCs can also give off the impression that you maintain a home well.  It might even help you look into claiming specific grants from the government!

Therefore, looking closely into the facts, you can see why moves took place to bring EPCs into holiday lets.  However, for many people, they can seem unnecessary.  Ultimately, you have to stay within the lines of the law no matter what you do!

Conclusion

To summarise, let’s consider the rules one more time.

  • Temporary structures, such as mobile homes, park homes and static caravans, do not need an energy performance certificate.
  • However, you will need to obtain an EPC if you are letting a holiday home for more than four months a year.
  • Some estate agents may inform you that you need an EPC when you don’t.  Be careful to check the rules which apply to you very carefully, as you may face charges you don’t need to pay.

Ultimately, make sure to check guidelines from the DCLG if you are in any doubt.  Otherwise, if you want to know your rights when selling a park home in general, do contact Sell My Group directly, or make sure to read our further guides!