Formal information from DCLG on proposed changes to the EPC regulations

On Tuesday 12th April DCLG formally notified schemes of the proposed changes to the EPC regulations.  This announcement, which has been anticipated for some time and had been leaked in one form or another over the last few weeks, indicates that the new regulations will cover the following:-

1.       They will extend the current requirement to commission an EPC before marketing to all buildings, whether for sale or rent.  Specifically this will include non domestic buildings.

2.       They will reduce the period within which an EPC is to be ‘secured’ from the current 28 days to 7 days (though with a 21 day period during which the EPC can be ‘secured’ if it has not been achieved within the 7 days)

3.       They will introduce the requirement to provide the EPC with written particulars for all buildings, whether offered for sale or for rent, and the removal of the option to include the asset rating only.

4.       The regulations will expand the definition of written particulars to ensure that ‘rented out buildings and commercial properties are captured’

5.       They will expand the powers of Trading Standards Officers so that they will be authorised to require that agents, not just landlords and building owners, produce evidence to demonstrate that an EPC has been commissioned

6.       It is intended that the regulations will be strengthened so as to remove any doubt that the EPC can be delayed until the parties enter into a contract for rent of for sale

We were informed that it is intended that the regulations will come into effect on the 1st July of this year, will a period of grace until the 1st October for the changes described in Item 3 above, thereby giving agents the chance to ‘catch up’ with any properties already being marketed.  We anticipate that this will have most effect on the commercial property sector, where research carried out by NES has consistently indicated that compliance has run at less than 50% nationwide with some regions as low as 30% compliance rate.

What has still not been formally notified to schemes is exactly when the revised regulations will be laid before parliament.