EPC For Property
Following on from the European Directive (the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive or EPBD), it has been law since January 2009 that individual and corporate bodies with buildings within the UK up for sale or for rental must provide an EPC as part of the deal. The obligation occurs “as soon as a building is in the process” of being sold or leased, including verbal requests for building particulars and viewing.
The fact that the requirement is triggered so early means that an EPC should be available to a prospective buyer or tenant before entering into a contract, when written information about the building is given in response to an enquiry and when the building is viewed.
The EPC must be provided at no charge to the prospective buyer or tenant. When marketing a building, the EPC rating must be included in the marketing literature (including sales particulars and all advertising). If the EPC is not included within such marketing, estate agents are automatically reported to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) which could lead to a banning order. Advertisements and Property Particulars must contain what is called the ‘asset rating’ which is the EPC rating for the property and the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating. What are considered to be Property Particulars includes two or more of a photograph of the building or any room inside the building, a floor plan of the building or a description of the size of the rooms in the building.
Who is responsible for the Property EPC?
Generally speaking, it is the building’s owner’s responsibility as landlord or seller to provide an EPC (although when construction is taking place, it falls to the builder to provide one to the owner) and not doing so could lead to the Local Authority Building Control department seeking enforcement action against you as well as risking a fine of between £500 and £5,000. The regulations gives trading standards officers the power to require that the responsible person produces an EPC and recommendation report for inspection within seven days of their request. For landlords, since April 2018, it is unlawful to let any property with less than an energy performance rating of E.
Particularly in relation to domestic EPCs, the current fixed penalty for not providing an EPC is £200 per dwelling. Since October 2015, landlords of domestic dwellings can no longer rely on a section 21 possession notice if a valid EPC is not provided with the new tenancy.
Of course, as well as the potential penalties involved in not providing an EPC, there is also good evidence to suggest that ‘green’ properties give benefits to occupiers and owners, which is reflected in property values. Research suggests that an EPC can bring higher rents and higher capital values, which will prove useful to a landlord come rent review. For those wishing to sell their property, it has been reported that higher sale prices, of up to 27%, are being achieved. In obtaining an EPC the ability to attract a tenant is speeded up, as is having your building ready to let or sell. It is also suggested that the right kind of long-term tenant is more likely to be attracted to landlords who take energy assessment seriously.
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