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House in multiple occupation (HMO) Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Published: 2023-03-28 Updated: 2023-03-28 Subject:

Planning application - local requirement

This requirement is designed to ensure houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are reasonably energy efficient, and so provide affordable warmth for occupants, while minimising the climate impacts of heating. For development proposals which are creating, converting to, or upgrading, an HMO, you will need to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), showing a required level of energy efficiency, at the time of submitting your planning application. In some cases, it may be possible to give evidence of proposed works, to reach the required standard, and a small number of developments may be exempt from this requirement.

You can review and download any valid Energy Performance Certificate for a property using the free GOV.UK EPC service

When this requirement applies

This requirement applies for the following planning applications related to HMOs:

  • A change of use from residential (C3) to HMO (C4 or sui generis)
  • Provision of a new build HMO
  • A change of use, from any other use to HMO 
  • The intensification of a small HMO (C4) to a large HMO (sui generis

What the evidence should include

The applicant must submit one of the following:

  • An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property, showing that it meets EPC rating ‘C’ or better
  • Evidence of proposed works to improve the energy performance of the property, to meet EPC rating ‘C’ or better
  • Evidence, prepared by a relevant independent expert, that the application meets one of the exemptions below


Policy H2 in our Districtwide Composite Plan (view via the link below) sets out the following cases, where there would be an exemption to this requirement.

  • The cost of making the cheapest recommended improvement would exceed £10,000 (including VAT).
  • All relevant energy efficiency improvements for the property have been made (or there are none that can be made) and the property remains below EPC 'C'.
  • The proposed energy efficiency measures are not appropriate for the property, due to potential negative impact on fabric or structure.
  • The minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably harm the heritage significance of a heritage asset.
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