From 9 January 2013 all advertisements for either selling or renting property must clearly show the energy rating of the building. This includes newspapers and magazines, any written material produced by the landlords or estate/letting agents, and on the internet.
As we have been expecting for a while, the UK Government has now transposed the Recast of the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive into UK law under the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections)(England and Wales)(Amendment) Regulations 2012. The original Directive created EPCs.
The recast Directive has put more onerous requirements on EPCs and the following changes will come into force on 9 January 2013:
- The seller or landlord must provide an EPC free of charge to a prospective buyer or tenant at the earliest opportunity. A copy of the EPC must also be provided to the successful buyer or the person who takes up the tenancy.
- Estate agents and other third parties must ensure that an EPC has been commissioned before they can market a property for sale or rent.
- In addition, all advertisements in the commercial media* must clearly show the energy rating of the building (where available).
* “Commercial media” means: Newspapers and magazines; written material produced by the seller/landlord/estate agent that describes the building being offered for sale or rent; or on the internet.
The Government Guidance states “From 9 January 2013 all sales or lettings advertisements in the commercial media1 should show the EPC rating of the property being advertised. There is no requirement to display the full certificate but where there is adequate space, the advertisement should show the A-G graph. However, it is recognised that this will not always be possible. In such cases the advertisement should include the actual EPC rating of the property (for example C)”.
£200 for failing to provide an EPC. Whilst not massive for landlords, for letting agents, if they are not displaying the EPC Graph on their window adverts, that will incur a £200 per advert charge – i.e. possibly running into £1,000s!
The relevant person will not be liable to a penalty charge notice in a sale or rental:
- Where a request for an EPC has been made the landlord who is to provide the EPC has made the request for an EPC as soon as possible and despite all reasonable efforts and enquiries, a valid EPC is not in his possession. The EPC should nonetheless be made available to prospective tenants as soon as the landlord has it; or in the case of rental buildings where a prospective tenant was seeking to rent the building in an emergency requiring his urgent relocation the landlord did not have in his possession a valid EPC at the time of letting;
- There was insufficient time for the prospective landlord to be reasonably expected to have obtained an EPC before letting the building; and the landlord has given a valid EPC to the tenant as soon as reasonably practicable after letting the building.