Advice for Agents
Life is too short and time is too precious for peripheral issues like EPCs to interfere with the business of dealmaking and EPC Network wants to help agents concentrate on what they do best rather than worrying about the procedural stuff.
Quick and Easy Guide to EPCs
• Sellers and landlords need to make sure that they are able to provide an EPC on request free of charge to a prospective buyer or prospective tenant. This can be as early in the process as someone asking for details of the property being offered. The EPC therefore needs to be near the top of the list of documentation when you are checking if your client is “prepared for sale”.
• If your client already has an EPC then you are good to go.
• If your client does not have an EPC then it should be prepared before the property is marketed and included as part of the marketing particulars.
• You should amend your standard marketing report to include a paragraph on EPCs. You should also amend your standard Heads of Terms to include a paragraph on EPCs.
• Your client needs an EPC unless the building is unheated, is a standalone building less than 50m2 or is a temporary building of less than two years life.
• At the time of writing (January 2009), there is no clear guidance as to whether assignations or sublettings are in the scope of the regulations. Watch this space. In the meantime, there are transitional arrangements in place until 31 March 2009 that effectively remove the possibility of enforcement action for not having an EPC.
• After 1 April 2009 your client can be served with a penalty charge notice (just like a parking ticket) of £1000 if they fail to provide an EPC more than 9 days after one has been requested.
EPCs in Brief
EPCs are prepared by assessors who are members of organisations that have agreed a protocol with Scottish Building Standards including the RICS, CIBSE and BRE.
Buildings are measured and assessed in zones according to the use of each area and this data, along with details of the construction and services are fed into a computer programme which calculates the amount of CO2 produced per m2. This corresponds to ratings from A to G which are shown on the certificate.
The process also generates a short form report on measures that can be taken to improve the energy performance of the building, along with details of the payback period involved.
Details of how you can obtain a quotation for an EPC are available by following this link
Acting For Purchaser or Tenant?
If you are acting for a prospective purchaser or tenant you need to bear in mind the following.
• The seller or landlord needs to provide an EPC if your client requests one, even if the deal is at its early stages. As we all become more familiar with the contents of EPCs this will be one of the issues that may affect a client’s views on the suitability of one property over another.
• You don’t need to wait until the deal is far down the line before an EPC should be produced by the other side, but until 31March 2009 there is no effective enforcement action possible if there is no EPC. If you don’t get an EPC if you are buying, your client will have to obtain one before they sell the building on.