Hefty Fine for Commercial Properties who Fail to Comply with New EPC Regulations

Posted on 15 October, 2012 by admin

Commercial Property agents and brokers could find themselves landed with a hefty fine if they do not comply with the new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations.

The new regulations were proposed in January of this year by the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and came into force today (6 April 2012). The new policy requires that an EPC is available, or has been ordered and is available to view within seven days of when the marketing of the commercial property commences. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to £5,000.

The move will mainly affect commercial property agents, but it will also affect people buying and selling commercial premises.

But what will happen if the EPC is not available within the seven day time limit? An extension of 21 days will be granted if an agent can prove that they have applied for an EPC; however, if after 28 days a commercial property is still advertised without an EPC, then Trading Standards have the right to fine the agent.

Speaking of the new regulation, James Dodd, Business Development Director from The National EPC Company, stated: “The new legislation aims to clarify the issue surrounding the requirement for an EPC. We are aware that some companies still believe that the provision of an EPC can legitimately be delayed until shortly before the parties enter into a contract. This is no longer the case.

“Orders for commercial EPCs have more than doubled this month. As compliance grows, there will be a huge demand for energy assessors to meet the reduced timescale in which to provide an EPC report.

“It’s therefore important for conveyancing solicitors and property agents to bring this to the attention of the seller or landlord at the earliest opportunity.”

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Currently, the National Energy Services (NES) estimates that only 30 per cent of commercial properties that are advertised have an EPC. However, when the new regulation comes into effect today, this figure should increase significantly, or else it could become quite costly.

Speaking of the issue, Mr Dodd, said: “We’re concerned that the message regarding compliance simply isn’t reaching the legal profession or property agents.”

For more information about Energy Performance Certificates, have a look at our property guide for sellers.

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