Things change for Estate agents on the 6thApril. The first page of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will need to be displayed with the property particulars. Previously it was acceptable to attach just the coloured rating graph, but studies found that people better understood a building’s running costs when they were given figures in plain monetary terms.
Now, the government has redesigned the EPC which primarily gives the savings in money and this is the section of the EPC that the agent will display.
The Landmark database will be adapted to give agents an easy method of downloading a web friendly EPC front page. Agents will first need to register for the service and then use the reference number that the energy assessor provides for each property.
Under the new rules, the agent will need to satisfy themselves that the EPC is either already in existence or has been instructed at the time of marketing and be able to prove that they have used all reasonable efforts to secure the EPC within 28 days.
In most residential cases the agent has already complied with this – the biggest changes come with commercial property.
What is different for commercial agents?
Since 2008, commercial EPCs were always intended to be in existence at the time of marketing a commercial property – this hasn’t changed. However, a loophole that meant commercial agents were not liable if the building owner didn’t obtain an EPC has been closed. The agent is now liable along with the building owner – after April, Commercial agents have a duty to satisfy themselves that an EPC is either in existence or has been commissioned. This is backed up by fines of up to £5000 for those who fail to implement the new rules. At the same time trading standards officers will have the Power to Require the Production of Documents.
What can we do to help?
We can help you locate a lost or missing commercial EPC if you think there may be one in existence. Our regular customers also know that from us, their EPCs are delivered promptly and are accurately produced – we are regularly audited by our accreditation body for quality and across around 1000 surveys, have passed every time!