EPCs – Why should I worry now about 2025?

Subject to certain exemptions, it is already unlawful to let a property with an “F” or “G” rating. 

Current proposals would require the minimum energy efficiency standard in relation to non-domestic buildings to be increased to a “B” rating by 2030.  It is intended that there would be a stepped increase, so in 2027 the minimum standard would be “C”.

As from 1 April 2025 all non-domestic rented buildings would be required to have a valid EPC.  Those without an EPC, or where the EPC has expired, would be required to lodge a valid EPC by 1 April 2025.  From 1 April 2027, the minimum required rating would increase to “C” and a landlord would need to obtain a valid EPC with a “C” rating or above.  There will be a substantial number of properties that do not yet have a “C” rating and significant investment is going to be required by landlords and tenants to bring properties up to spec.

Who will actually carry out and pay for improvement works will depend on the wording of existing leases, or on the negotiations with a new incoming tenant.  It should be remembered that the legal obligation to provide an EPC with the appropriate rating falls on the landlord.  Whilst a lease granted in breach of the regulations would not be invalid, the landlord would be liable to civil penalties including fines not exceeding £150,000.  The stakes for landlords are clearly high.  The Government is now also considering ways in which tenants can be made to take on their share of the legal responsibilities in complying with the regulations.

There are currently exemptions available for non-domestic properties but conditions must be satisfied and this must be recorded on the central register.  The current exemptions are:

  • There are no further relevant improvements
  • Consent is required but cannot be obtained
  • The energy efficient improvement would devalue the market value of the property (or the building it is in) by at least 5%
  • A tenancy has been granted in exceptional circumstances

If a landlord continues to let by virtue of an acquisition (i.e. having purchased an occupied property) they will be given 6 months within which to comply with the regulations, including registering their own exemptions if any apply.

Given the need to consider climate change and our impact on the environment, it is unlikely that these proposals will be reduced in any meaningful way and we can expect them to be strengthened in years to come.  This may include changes to the way in which properties are assessed and could lead to properties dropping down from previously assessed ratings.

To discuss this, or any other commercial property related matter, please contact Tamzin directly on 01483 887766, email info@hartbrown.co.uk or start a live chat today.

*This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues


Tamzin Mandelli

Partner, Commercial Property

Prior to joining Hart Brown, Tamzin had worked for a local authority and for both regional and national firms. Tamzin is a Partner with over...

Partner, Commercial Property

Tamzin Mandelli

Prior to joining Hart Brown, Tamzin had worked for a local authority and for both regional and national firms.

Tamzin is a Partner with over 23 years' experience and she is based at our Woking office. Tamzin specialises in all aspects of commercial property including the sale and purchase of shops, offices and restaurants, landlord and tenant matters (from granting the new lease, through to the various licences for works, transfers and so on) and dealing with the eventual termination of a lease. She is also experienced at dealing with development work including option agreements and acquisitions.

Hart Brown is recognised in the Legal 500 2024 edition for real estate work in the South East and the entry states “With substantial experience in sales and purchases of properties, landlord and tenant matters and development agreements, Tamzin Mandelli 'provides a high level of service’ and ‘is able to deliver what is needed’.”

What do Tamzin's clients say about her?

"We have just worked on a commercial transaction together, which was by far the most challenging case I have dealt with (for a variety of reasons). Tamzin was extremely efficient and salvaged the transaction multiple times... I highly recommend her!"

“Thank you very much for all of your help and support. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and hope to do so again in the future!”

"...thank you for your support with X, it's been good fun. Wish you were handling a commercial purchase for me! … lesson learnt, will place with you next time!"

“The service I received was efficient, professional and the members I dealt with both past and present have been helpful…and very personable.”