DCLG have announced changes to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Regulations that will have a significant impact on all engaged in the sale or letting of property, both residential and
A number of changes will be made to regulation 5A of the Regulations. In general, the onus remains on the ‘relevant person’ (i.e. the seller or landlord) to commission an EPC before marketing. The main changes are as follows:
1. the duty to commission an EPC before marketing will be extended to the sale and rent of residential and non-residential buildings;
2. the current 28 day period within which an EPC is to be secured using ‘reasonable efforts’ will be reduced to 7 days;
3. if after that 7 day period the EPC has not been secured the relevant person will have a further 21 days in which to do so.
Trading Standards Officers (TSOs) currently have the power to require the ’relevant person’ (i.e. the seller or landlord) to produce copies of the EPC for inspection and to take copies if necessary. The power to require the production of documents will be extended to include persons acting on behalf of the seller or landlord – e.g. estate agents and letting agents. This means, for example, that TSOs will be authorised to require estate agents to produce evidence showing that an EPC has been commissioned where they are marketing a building without one.
Currently, for residential sales only, the relevant person or his agent is under a duty to either attach the EPC to written particulars or include the asset rating on those particulars. The amendments will require the EPC to be attached to written particulars in relation to all buildings sold or rented out. The option to include the asset rating will no longer apply.
The existing definition of ‘written particulars’ will be expanded to ensure that particulars produced for rented out buildings and commercial properties are captured by the new requirements.
DCLG intends to bring these changes into force on 6 April 2012.