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EPC Regulation Changes

Effective from 9th January 2013, the requirement to include page 1 of the EPC in written particulars (in print and online) no longer applies, though an agent can continue to do so if they wish. However, this is replaced on the same day by a requirement to include the EPC rating or the graph element if there is adequate space in any “advertisements in the commercial media” .

Commercial Media is defined as a magazine or newspaper advert, an online listing, or “written material that describes the building being offered for sale or rent”. In practice then, all sales particulars, window cards, canvassing or direct mail cards advertising a specific property for sale, newspaper and magazine adverts, mini-mags, press releases, online listings, email broadcasts etc. would as a minimum need to include Energy Efficiency Rating: C or EPC Rating: C for each property featured. Where there is adequate space the whole rating graph should be included. As the guidance only referrers to “the internet” it is possible but unconfirmed that communications by text message (SMS) are excluded.

There is a re-statement that the vendor or landlord is responsible for providing any prospective buyer or tenant with a copy of the EPC on request. Also the vendor or landlord is responsible for ensuring that the prospective buyer or tenant has been provided with a copy of the EPC before any contract is entered into. In practice, many vendors or landlords will be unaware of this requirement or will expect their agent to handle this aspect for them so it would be good practice for the agent to provide the vendor or landlord details of their policy on EPCs. Copies must be in the format requested (e.g hard copy or electronic) and must be provided free of charge.

The agent must still ensure they are satisfied that an EPC exists or has been commissioned before marketing commences. Both the agent and the vendor or landlord must use all reasonable efforts to ensure an EPC has been completed within seven days of the start of marketing, with a further 21 days grace in exceptional cases. Existing EPCs can be searched for HERE.

EPCs are valid for 10 years and do not need to be re-assessed for each new sale or tenancy, even if refurbishments have been made, though the owner may choose to. However, if a property has been modified to have more or fewer parts or converted to contain more or fewer separate dwellings then each dwelling requires a new EPC. The penalty for non-compliance on domestic buildings is &200. 

More extensive guidance is available HERE


Categories: General