The legal requirement (punishable by a fine) to provide an Energy Performance Certificate ('EPC') using the standard assessment procedures has not been relaxed. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has in fact published guidance to this effect within the last few days.
Since the 1st
August 2007, it has been a requirement that an Energy Performance Certificate (‘EPC’) is produced and made available to a prospective buyer or tenant of a residential property before it is sold or let (subject to several exemptions that we won’t go into in this article).
The EPC is designed to give a measure of the energy efficiency of that building and suggest possible improvement measures. It is not a building survey or valuation but it does require a physical inspection of the premises by an accredited Energy Assessor.
Of course the present advice from government is to stay within your home and not to allow entry to visitors. Whilst a property owner may wish to find a prospective buyer or tenant for their home, and estate agents are being quite creative with virtual viewings and the like, it is important to remember that the legal requirement (punishable by a fine) to provide an EPC using the standard assessment procedures has not been relaxed. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has in fact published guidance to this effect within the last few days.
If an Energy Assessor can be found, and the assessment conducted safely and in accordance with the government advice on home moving during the coronavirus outbreak
then the most recent statement confirmed it can still take place. This is most likely to be possible in cases where the property is empty. There should be absolutely no question of an assessment taking place if either the assessor or any recent occupier displays any symptoms of the virus at all or is self-isolating or shielding.
If the property is occupied, any possible transaction should be delayed until such time as it is possible to proceed with the EPC assessment after the lockdown measures have been lifted. This way, the public are kept safe and the potential buyer or tenant will still receive the necessary information before moving in.
If you wish to discuss any of the contents of this article with a member of the Hewitsons Residential Property team then please contact Simon Cooper on 01223 447410 or click here
to email Simon.