Why Do I Need An EPC?
Since January 2009, individuals or businesses with buildings in Northern Ireland that are offered for sale or rental have been legally required to provide an EPC. The legal obligation happens “as soon as a building is in the process” for sale or rental such as verbal enquiries for building particulars and requests for viewings.
The specific time that the requirement is triggered means that an EPC must be made available to any prospective tenant at the earliest opportunity – before entering into a lease or agreement to lease, when written information about the building is given to someone who requests it and when the building is viewed by a prospective tenant.
What If I Dont Have An EPC?
The EPC and the Recommendation Report must be provided to prospective tenants at no charge. When a building is marketed, the EPC rating must be included within all marketing literature (including lease particulars and all advertising). If the EPC is not included within such marketing, estate agents are automatically reported to the NI Trading Standards Service.
It is the building owner’s responsibility as landlord (or their managing agent’s) to provide an EPC. Not doing so could lead to the Local Authority Building Control department seeking enforcement action as well as risking a fine. Since an EPC is valid for ten years, there is good reason to act as soon as possible as, in April 2018, it will be unlawful for a landlord to let a property with an energy performance rating below E.
Northern Ireland Commercial EPC
Northern Ireland Domestic EPC
Whats The Benefit Of An EPC?
Aside from the obligations and penalties, there is good evidence to suggest that ‘greener’ properties with accurate EPCs offer considerable benefits to occupiers, reflected in higher rents. It is also becoming popular for major tenants in NI (particularly commercial ones) to consider their ‘green’ credentials as part of their environmental or corporate responsibility. Other benefits include being able to attract a tenant quicker and, based on the fact that an EPC lasts for ten years, you can have your building ready to let faster with an EPC already obtained, as well as ready for any rent review that comes around.
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