As soon as the process of selling or renting a property begins, the seller or landlord is responsible for providing an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to any prospective buyer or tenant at the earliest opportunity. The letting agent must ensure that an EPC has been commissioned before they can market the property for rent or they may be liable to a civil penalty or charge notice.
Changes to EPC legislation announced by the Government, effective from January 9th, particularly affect two main areas for those involved in the property industry. It is now no longer necessary to attach the front page of the EPC to sales details. Instead, the actual Energy Rating (e.g. EPC Rating C) should be shown both on particulars and all adverts (hard copy and electronic).
One of our Partners, Mike Nightingale, says "this is a 'greener' option, saving paper and will certainly save agents' time and effort in preparing sales details. But the Rating Grade we have to display on the particulars will remain misunderstood, if not completely ignored. We're very seldom asked for EPC information on a property. The public are only interested in the location of the premises and its suitability to their particular business".
The second major change refers to protected buildings and monuments. From January 9th an EPC is no longer a requirement for Listed Buildings. Mike says "whilst we can all understand it would be harder for a draughty historic premises to comply with EPC Legislation, there are still measures which can be taken to improve their efficiency like improving insulation and replacing inefficient boilers for example. Overall, in my opinion the whole legislation regarding EPCs lacks consistency. It will be interesting to see what the next development is to induce vendors and landlords to obtain minimum standards. Will we see penalties for those that don't comply?
"Whilst it is easy to ignore the problem now, as energy prices increase a building's energy efficiency will become an important consideration in terms of costs, and with many companies having to include "Green" policies as part of their Quality Assurance, the EPC Rating of the business premises could become an important factor in winning over new customers".