The government has woken up to the ducks and dives of some property traders and landlords and are changing the regulations around EPC’s for July 1st 2011.
They have announced that all landlords and commercial property owners who market property must get an EPC within 7 days of a property being marketed. The current time allowance is 28 days. Take up of EPC’s at marketing onset has been as low as 50% for commercial property. Landlords and commercial property owners have delayed getting an EPC in place until a sale or letting was about to happen. This kept costs down to a minimum for as long as possible and kept them within regulations- just.
The government are trying to reduce non compliance levels throughout the UK. All EPC information must be clearly displayed on any written particulars and this also covers all commercial property, whether that’s for rent or sale. To further ram the point home, commercial property agents who market property will now be responsible for making sure an EPC is in place, rather than the owner or landlord of a property who is responsible as the rules stand.
The New Rules
- EPC now required within 7 days of the start of marketing for all properties marketed after 1st July.
- Increased powers of enforcement for Trading Standards Officers. Production of documents to be extended to include persons acting on behalf of the seller or landlord – e.g. estate agents and letting agents.
- Residential and commercial agents will be responsible for ensuring an EPC is available.
- Agents must ensure that the full EPC is included in all marketing material, including the sales particulars from 1st October, 2011.
- Anyone found not complying, agent or the client, are likely to receive a substantial fine.
Green Deal 2015
Other changes could be afoot for the EPC in coming years too. The role of the EPC is set to get bigger. A more ‘tailored’ version of the EPC could be waiting in the wings for each property, marketed or not, so as to comply with the “Green Deal.” Some officials feel that the length of an EPCs validity is too long as well.
The Green Deal is trying to get 14 million UK households to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 which will be used for energy efficiency improvements on homes such as, double glazing, insulation or energy-efficient boilers. The loan is provided upfront by the private sector and paid back via energy savings in the home over a 20-year period.
So, if you have not done your EPC yet, do it now. You have been warned!