News: New Changes In Home EPCs

Mon, 21 Jan 13

As the Government reviews the procedures on Energy Performance Certificates by announcing new guidance, which came into effect on 9 January, national estate agent Strutt & Parker looks to clarify what these reforms mean for those wishing to sell their home.

One of the main changes is the exemption of listed buildings from the need to have a certificate on their sale. The recast of the rules is significant for those living in listed homes as any building which has been listed by English Heritage (or CADW the Welsh equivalent) is no longer required to have an EPC on its sale or rent. However, owners of a listed building can still volunteer to have an EPC and any of those wishing to access the Green Deal would still need to commission an EPC in the first instance.

Tim Pearse from Strutt & Parker's Harpenden office adds: "These changes on listed buildings are widely seen as a good decision given that listed properties are often poorly insulated and could be very costly to bring up to standard meaning that many were at risk of being left vacant; let alone that the listing means that making changes is actually not possible".

An important element of the regulations that remains is that when a property is put up for sale or to let, the vendor or landlord and those acting on their behalf must make an EPC available to the potential buyer or tenant without cost, and as soon as possible. A copy of the EPC must also be given to the eventual buyer or tenant. In addition, the estate agent or letting agent must ensure that an EPC has been commissioned before marketing the property and failure to do so can result in a penalty charge.

Probably the most significant change is that it will no longer be compulsory to attach the front page of the EPC to all written material. Instead, it will now be sufficient to include the EPC rating on any promotional material when a property is advertised for sale or rent. This includes advertisements in newspapers, magazines, internet ads and any written material produced by the seller or agent.

Pearse believes: "The frequent changes in Government policy and lack of clarity on the issue has caused frustrations across the industry. However the new rules do make life easier for agents as there is less red tape and a simpler format to follow when preparing a property for the market."

See also: Responsibilities of a Landlord

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