Fraud probe police and energy assessors are urging student landlords to check that their energy performance certificates are genuine.
The warning comes after an investigation in to a firm issuing EPCs stopped trading in Plymouth, Devon.
Since the inquiry started, trading standards officers have uncovered a number of forged EPC certificates across the UK.
Detectives in Plymouth, Devon, uncovered the false documents as part of an inquiry in to letting agent Hot Homes UK, which ceased trading recently after numerous allegations of missing money adding up to thousands of pounds.
The cash was collected from tenants as deposits and rent but was not paid on to landlords.
Home inspection firm EPCWorx traded from the same address as Hot Homes UK and was under the same management.
Paul Walker, chairman of the Institute of Domestic Energy Assessors, said landlords and letting agents can check an EPC for forgery online through a Communities and Local Government Department database at https://www.epcregister.com.
Simply enter the 20 digit reference number from the top right corner of the EPC front page in to the search box and the database will confirm the EPC details.
“The result will either not be recognised or show a property address. Check that it is the right property address,” said Walker.
“If the EPC is not registered or the wrong address is given, I would advise them to contact their local trading standards office as the document is likely to be a forgery.”
Energy Performance Certificates highlight a home’s energy efficiency on a scale of A-G, with A as the highest rating. F and G ratings are considered poor.
The certificate also scores a home’s environmental impact on a separate scale of A-G that measures CO2 emissions.
An average property scores D or E for both ratings.
An EPC also lists improvements for improving energy efficiency.