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Be efficient - get up to date with EPC changes

Date Submitted: 06/07/2012   Author: Robert Macfarlane

The new regulations came out on the 6th April 2012. There are four stages to an EPC ordering of the EPC, obtaining an EPC, making available to tenants and giving to the ultimate tenant.

The amending regulations will bring renting and selling in line. In relation to this an EPC will need to be commissioned by a relevant person before a property is marketed. The regulation now reads; a Property is put on the market when the fact that it is or may become available for rent is with the intention of marketing the property first made public by or on behalf of the seller.

A fact is made public when it is advertised or otherwise communicated (in whatever form and by whatever means) to the public or to a section of the public. Under the new rules the person acting on behalf of the landlord must be satisfied that an EPC has been commissioned for the building.

An agent can no longer rely on the clients word that an EPC has been done. Nowadays EPCs do not take much time to do and although prices can vary, around £55 is a fair price. Under the old rules if a property was being for example sold, the seller and agent had 28 days to ensure a valid EPC is obtained.

It is considered that this is no longer acceptable so the amending regulations require that all reasonable efforts are used to ensure an EPC is obtained before the end of seven days from the day the EPC was commissioned.

The reduction from 28 days to seven applies to the sale and letting of all residential and commercial properties. The EPC must be given free of charge by the relevant person to the person who ultimately becomes the tenant.

The first page of the EPC must be attached to the written particulars in all cases whether the property is for rent, sale, residential or commercial. The definition of written particulars is also amended to mean any written description of the property which includes at least two of the following:

A photograph of the building or any room in the building, a floor plan of the building, the size of the rooms in the building, the measured area of the building or the proposed rent. From April 2012 the layout of the EPC changes.

In the new version the front of the EPC will show a simple clear message focusing on the costs of a heating a home and how much can be saved by introducing energy efficiency measures.

In addition, the revised front page of the EPC will include a list of the top three recommendations on home energy efficiency improvements. These could range from changing a hot water cylinder jacket to a new boiler. Finally in order to ensure that there is a close link between EPCs and the upcoming green deal the EPC will be used to signpost consumers to those energy efficiency improvements which qualify for green deal support. This should act as an additional prompt for people to take advantage of the green deal.

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