Following a recent directive on EPCs sellers were left in some confusion as to whether full details of the EPC (the EPC Certificate) for a property needed to be displayed in advertisements. This was of particular concern to websites displaying property ads due to space limitations.
The new guidance clarifies the situation and it seems that common sense has prevailed in that only the EPC rating (if available) need be displayed in advertisements.
Landlords and agents will still have to include EPC details on property advertising from January 9, but the requirement to include the front page of the EPC certificate is removed. It is further conceded that EPCs are no longer required for listed buildings.
Click here for the full DCLG documentation
Extract from the government guidelines:
“Providing EPCs when selling or renting out a non-dwelling
As soon as a building is in the process of being offered for sale or rent, it is the responsibility of the seller or landlord (i.e. the relevant person) to make available free of charge an EPC to any prospective buyer or tenant.
The EPC must be provided by the seller or landlord at the earliest opportunity and no later than when:
a. a person requests information about the building (the time at which the relevant person makes any written information about the building available), or
b. when a person makes a request to view the building, the time at which the person views the building
An EPC does not have to be made available if the seller or prospective landlord believes on reasonable grounds that:
c. the prospective buyer or tenant is unlikely to have sufficient funds to purchase the building or is not genuinely interested in buying or renting a building of that type
d. the seller or prospective landlord is unlikely to be prepared to sell or rent the building to the prospective buyer or tenant, although this does not authorise unlawful discrimination
The seller or landlord is responsible for ensuring there is an EPC for the building, or part of the building, being sold or let, even if an agent or another service organisation...
is acting on their behalf or providing an EPC. The seller or landlord must, therefore, ensure any person acting on their behalf (i.e. estate or letting agent) is complying with the regulations.
Before a building is put on the market the seller or landlord must commission an EPC for the building. A person acting on behalf of the seller or landlord must also be satisfied that an EPC has been commissioned for the building before marketing.
The seller or landlord or a person acting on their behalf must use all reasonable efforts to ensure the EPC is obtained within seven days. A further 21 days is allowed if after using all reasonable efforts the EPC cannot be obtained within seven days.
From 9 January 2013, when a building or building unit is offered for sale or rent, the asset rating of the building in the EPC must be stated in commercial media where one is available.
This would include, but is not restricted to, newspapers and magazines, written material produced by the seller, landlord or estate or letting agent that describes the building being offered for sale or rent or the internet. This will increase transparency and provide the public with information about the energy efficiency of the building.
However, in line with the removal of unnecessary gold-plating, from 9 January 2013, there will no longer be any requirement to attach the front page of the EPC to any written materials.”©LandlordZONE® – legal content applies to England and is not a definitive statement of the law, always seek professional advice. If you have questions on these issues go to the LandlordZONE® Forums