No current plans to ditch EPCs warns CPBigwood
The Government has made it clear there can be no backsliding
on Energy Performance Certificates despite scepticism from the public,
according to property agents CPBigwood.
“EPCs are here to stay,” warned director Jonathan Hackett.
His comments follow changes which from April 6 extend the scope
of the certificates, in particular with regard to property letting.
He said: “Energy Performance Certificates have struggled to
gain acceptance among home buyers and sellers.
“By and large purchasers take the view that they are way
down the list of things to consider after the likes of price, location,
schools, room size and other important factors. Sellers, keen to get their
property on the market, tend to see EPCs as unnecessary red tape which adds
cost and slows the process.
“However the Government has emphasised that minimising
energy usage is an important part of their wider energy policy. Hence this
determined stance to ensure owners of buildings, both residential and
commercial, get the message.
“Whatever the frustrations with EPCs they are not going to
go away and, even if there is a reluctance to embrace them, all parties will at
least have to take them on board. Treating them as an after-thought will no
The changes are aimed at making landlords and tenants more
From April 6, landlords and letting agents will be required
to produce EPCs for all rental properties in England
– residential and non-residential – to bring the rules for selling and letting
The new rules mean that landlords and letting agents must
ensure an EPC has been commissioned before they begin to market their property.
Trading Standards officials will be able to check up whether
this has been done. Failure to comply can result in fines of up to £200 for
residential properties and £5,000 for commercial properties.
The front page of the EPC must also be included on any
marketing particulars for the property, be that online or otherwise.
Previously, landlords did not have to produce an EPC until just
before contracts were signed.
Mr Hackett cautioned: “With utility bills seemingly going
ever upwards there is an increased awareness of the cost of heating homes and
“It seems like this will become a growing consideration and
there is speculation that older and less energy efficient buildings could
gradually fall out of favour with the market.”
And, said Mr Hackett, the squeeze was set to continue.
No later than 2018, and possibly sooner, all F- and G-rated
residential and commercial properties will need to get “greener”.
He noted: “Landlords could be faced with either upgrading
their property, with all the cost that would involve, or, potentially, having
to remove it from the rental market altogether.
“They need to think very carefully and take advice about how
best to proceed. Don’t put this off and hope it will never happen.”
Estimates have suggested that up to 18 per cent of all
commercial properties in the UK
– around 600,000 – could be caught in the net.Back to top