A reminder that the regime covering Energy Performance Certificates is to be changed with effect from 6 April. In summary, the changes are:
- the requirement to commission an EPC before marketing, either for sale or letting, will apply to all buildings, not just residential properties;
- there will be an obligation to use all reasonable efforts to ensure that an EPC is obtained within 7 days of marketing the building (although if, despite the seller/landlord having used all reasonable efforts they have been unable to obtain an EPC within that 7 day period, they will have a further 21 days in which to obtain it);
- a copy of the first page of the EPC must be provided with the written particulars for all properties for sale or letting, not just residential properties as previously. It will no longer be sufficient just to supply the asset rating for the property, and
- any doubt that providing an EPC can be delayed until shortly before exchange of a sale agreement or completion of a lease has been clarified – it cannot.
Also, from April 2018 it will be unlawful to rent out any premises, including commercial premises, that have an energy efficiency rating of less than “E”. As you can see from the comparative scale used in EPC reports, this is not the lowest efficiency rating.
The penalties for non-compliance are not changing. The regime will continue to be enforced by Trading Standards officers issuing penalty charge notices. For sale or letting of a dwelling the penalty for non-compliance is currently £200. For commercial property the penalty is 12.5% of the rateable value of the building, with a minimum of £500 and a maximum of £5,0000.