Vibrant Energy Matters wholeheartedly welcomed the proposed changes which were due to come in on the 1st of October 2011 and are aimed at improving overall compliance within the EPC Sector . This delay is therefore very frustrating as the guildlines include the following proposed changes:
Commissioning an EPC before marketing
Although the onus will remain on the ‘relevant person’ (i.e. seller or landlord) to commission the EPC before marketing this will now be required on both the sale and rental of both residential and non-residential buildings. Along with this the current 28 day period in which the EPC is to be secured, using ‘reasonable efforts’ will be reduced to 7 days. If the EPC cannot been obtained within that period the relevant person will have a further 21 days in which to do so.
Power to Require the Production of Documents
Currently Trading Standards Officers have the power to request copies of the EPC from the ‘relevant person’. Under the new guidelines TSO’ will have the ability to request the EPC from and persons acting on behalf of the seller or landlord. e.g. Lettings and Estate Agents.
Clarifying when an EPC is required
The new guidelines amend Regulation 5 by deleting the words “before entering into a contract to sell or rent the building or, if sooner”. This is aimed at removing the belief that the provision of the EPC can be delayed until shortly before the parties enter a contract.
This changes a number of factors to allow TSOs to enforce their new duties
EPC Information in Written Particulars
This new guideline will add the requirement for the EPC to be attached to all written particulars in relation to buildings sold or rented out. The option to include the asset rating will no longer apply.
The guidelines are now due to be released 6th April 2012. We are currently awaiting additional information and guidance is due to be issued shortly.The full document can be found here
These changes are the first step towards EPCs being mandatory on the first day of marketing. However this change is not expected until April 2013, after the introduction of the Green Deal.