The Legal Bit

What may happen if you don’t have an Energy Performance Certificate.

The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 

These are the regulations that require “Energy Performance Certificates" to be provided when buildings are sold or rented. The regulations set out how and when the certificate must be provided and to whom. Please use the above link if you would like to read them in full. What follows is an overview of the requirements and is not intended as a definitive legal interpretation.  

There is a general duty placed on all local weights and measures authorities (Trading standards) to enforce these regulations and ensure they are complied with.

The Energy Performance Certificate is required to be given free to prospective buyers or tenants as soon as possible and in any event before contracts are signed

If an authorised officer, usually a Trading Standards Officer believes a breach of these regulations has taken place a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) may be issued. The notice will detail the alleged breach and the penalty.

The penalty charge for not giving an Energy Performance Certificate or recommendations for improvements report when required is £200 for a building that is a dwelling. If the building is not a dwelling but a commercial property the penalty charge is 12.5% of the rateable value with a minimum charge of £500 and maximum charge of £5000.

The penalty charge notice can be reviewed on request and withdrawn if the recipient can show they have taken "all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid breaching the duty"

As a landlord you will need to provide a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate whenever you let the property to a new tenant. The certificate however is only required for a property which is self-contained. It is not required when a tenant rents a room,shares facilities and has a separate contract with the landlord. 

The Energy Performance Certificate is valid for 10 years.

The only person who is able to produce an Energy Performance Certificate is an accredited energy assessor.

For further advice please contact your local Trading Standards Service. Their details can be found by entering your post code on the Trading Standards Institute web page.

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