As of the 9th January 2013 the laws regarding Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) changed, however some landlords have stated that the regulation changes are still causing some confusion.
An EPC is a certificate stating how environmentally friendly a property is. By law an EPC must have been commissioned on all properties prior to marketing for sale or to let, and must be obtained within 7 days of the property first being marketed.
If an EPC is not obtained within 7 days, a further 21 days are allowed providing it can be proven that all reasonable efforts were taken to obtain the EPC beforehand. It is the responsibility of the seller or landlord of the property to obtain the EPC not the Estate Agents.
Although changes have been made there are certain similarities between the new laws surrounding EPC’s and the previous regulations.
For example, EPC’s are still required for all properties with the amendment that listed buildings are now exempt. An EPC must still be displayed on all documents however; the requirement to put the front page of the EPC into advertisements and property particulars has now been replaced with a requirement to insert the asset rating instead.
A summary of changes that have been made due to the new legislation are as follows:
• A commercial building larger than 500 square metres, which is frequently visited by the public, must have the EPC positioned in a place where it is clearly visible to anyone who enters the building. In the case of a rented building it is the responsibility of the tenant, and not the owner, to have the certificate clearly visible.
• When marketing a property (whether residential or commercial), it is no longer necessary to attach a copy of the full front page of the EPC to any documents, all written material and advertisements must include the EPC asset rating.
• Historical, listed buildings and monuments officially protected because of their special architectural or historical merit are now exempt from all EPC laws and do not require a certificate. This is due to the fact that in order to comply with EPC regulations, alterations would have to be made to these premises which could potentially damage their historical value.
So how can you be sure that you are complying by these new laws? After all new rules are not always easy to remember, follow these five simple steps to ensure compliance:
1. Commission an EPC as soon as you decide to market your property for sale or to let, generally an EPC will cost between £60 to £100.
2. Remember an EPC is valid for a period of 10 years, you may wish to replace it if major work has been carried out on the property such as insulation or double glazing which will favourably affect the rating.
3. Make sure the EPC rating appears on all advertising for your property by providing your estate / letting agency with a copy if they have not sourced the EPC on your behalf.
4. Once your property is on the market have a copy of the EPC ready to show to any potential tenants or buyers.
5. Be sure to give a hard copy of the EPC to your tenant when the property is let.
Written by Sarah Male, Urban Sales and Lettings
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