On 6 April 2012 the rules regarding Energy Performance Certificates will change in relation to the sale or transfer of any property whether residential or commercial for sale or rent.
If you are planning a move you need to be aware of the following key changes:
- An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) must be commissioned before marketing any property for sale or letting and this applies both to commercial and residential buildings.
- All “reasonable efforts” must be made to ensure that an EPC is obtained with 7 days of commencement of marketing a property with “an absolute duty” to obtain it within 21 days after that seven day period.
- When supplying property particulars (including electronic property particulars) the first page of the EPC must be included (previously only asset ratings were included on particulars).
- The EPC must be provided to any interested parties “at the earliest opportunity”. Historically this has often been delayed until just prior to the parties entering into a contract.
- Trading Standards Officers will have increased powers to enforce these changes. They can force property owners or their agents to prove that an EPC has been commissioned and to provide a copy of the EPC for inspection on request. If evidence is not provided within 7 days a Penalty Notice can be issued.
- There are new regulations regarding air-conditioning systems (above 12kW) which must be inspected every five years with the inspection report lodged onto the Central EPC Register (for a fee).
- There will be an improved and redesigned form of Certificate introduced also from 6 April including an energy efficiency graph.
How We Can Help
If you want to begin marketing your property for sale or letting we deal with various EPC providers and can obtain a fee estimate for you.
If you are a tenant of a property and are planning to transfer/sell your lease you need to be aware that your lease may contain provisions relating to the obtaining of EPCs. You may need landlord’s consent before obtaining an EPC for your property. Alternatively obtaining a new EPC may impact upon a landlord’s own EPC for a building (if you have a lease of part of a building) and this could mean you being liable for the costs of the landlord replacing its own Certificate if that is invalidated by you obtaining a new EPC for your property. We can check your lease and advise you on this.
14 March 2012