The world of commercial property investment must now comply with new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rules. Coming into effect January 9th 2013, the amendments have ushered in several changes to basic requirements for non-dwellings, which buyers and sellers must be made aware of.
Commercial buildings are required to have an EPC on construction, sale or rent, detailing the efficiency rating of the property on an A-G scale. The certificate also includes recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency and whether these are eligible under the Green Deal scheme. However, developers and owners are under no statutory obligation to implement these recommendations.
EPCs must be produced by an accredited non-domestic energy assessor and provided by a seller or landlord to a prospective and successful tenant free of charge and at the earliest possible date. A property that has not had an EPC commissioned will not be eligible to enter the market and it is the responsibility of an estate agent and other third parties to ensure the existence of the certificate. What's more, all advertisements for a commercial building must include an EPC.
Certificates will be valid for ten years and can be reused within this period. This means that a new EPC is not required upon a change of tenancy or sale, as long the document isn't older than ten years. If more than one EPC is in existence, the most recent is considered to be the most valid.
Under the changes, EPCs must also be displayed in all commercial premises larger than 500 m sq that are "frequently visited by the public and where one has previously been produced for sale, construction or renting out of the building".
Phil Overend, associate director with Jones Lang LaSalle, commented: "The government's changes to the requirements regarding EPCs are very important to the property industry especially as they place new requirements on the occupiers of commercial buildings. From today, EPCs must be clearly displayed in a large number of commercial buildings frequently visited by the public including retail and leisure premises. It is the tenant, not the landlord's, responsibility to ensure this happens for their occupied space."
- Monday 14 January 2013