Commercial EPC changes

 

The long awaited changes to commercial EPCs look like being finally on the way. BRE has announced to its members that the changes will come into effect on the 6th April 2012.

No doubt there will be lots of comment from those involved in the EPC industry in between now and then!

The changes that were announced are as follows:

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE ENERGY PERFORMANCE OF BUILDINGS (CERTIFICATES AND INSPECTIONS) (ENGLAND AND WALES) REGULATIONS 2007 (THE EPB REGULATIONS)

The changes to the EPB Regulations can be summarised as follows:

1. the changes will extend the current requirements to commission an EPC that apply to residential buildings to all residential and non residential buildings when sold or rented out;

  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.
3. Power to Require the Production of Documents
 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.
 4 Clarifying when an EPC is required
 This technical amendment to Regulation 5 is intended to remove the erroneous belief that the provision of the EPC can be delayed until shortly before the parties enter into a contract for sale or rent. This will be achieved by deleting the words
  1. the requirements for the provision of an EPC with written particulars will be extended to all buildings sold or rented out and the option to attach the asset rating will be removed. The requirement will only extend to the first page of the EPC (the EPC consists of two pages, accompanied by four pages of recommendations); and
  2. the requirement for the statutory lodgement of air conditioning inspection reports onto the central EPC Register.

The following summary details the main changes that will be made in relation to EPCs.

2. Commissioning an EPC before marketing
 “before entering into a contract to sell or rent the building or, if sooner”
in Regulation 5(2)(b) of the EPB Regulations.
 Page 1 of 2
5. Consequential changes
 A number of consequential changes will be made to enable TSOs to enforce the new duties.
 6. EPC Information in Written Particulars
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 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.
As an exception to this requirement, provision is made to allow the person subject to the duty to provide the written particulars to omit the address of the building from a copy of the EPC where the address has been omitted from those particulars.
7. Statutory lodgement of air conditioning inspection reports
The requirement to lodge air conditioning inspection reports on the central Non Domestic EPC Register will become a statutory requirement, replacing the current voluntary approach.
8. Commencement
DCLG intends to bring these changes into force on 6 April 2012. Further information and additional interim guidance will be issued shortly.
DCLG
23 September 2011

 

A number of changes will be made to regulation 5A of the EPB 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:

 
 

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