16:02 PM, 4th April 2012, About 10 years ago
It’s green for go for new-style energy performance certificates from April 6 and landlords or letting agents who flout the new rules could face a fine.
Energy performance certificate (EPC) laws are tightening and letting agents face more scrutiny from trading standards officers.
From April 6, every rental property – commercial or residential – must have an EPC commissioned before marketing to let.
The EPC must be available to anyone viewing the property and with any print or online advertising within seven days of the start of marketing.
Failing to meet the new rules could lead to a £200 fine.
“This law represents a major shift in responsibility for making sure properties have an EPC,” said a Trading Standards Institute spokesman. “Until now, trading standards have had to chase companies or landlords operating from PO boxes or other hard to trace addresses to make them comply with the law.
“Now, it’s a lot easier to visit a letting agent who usually has an office to check the files instead of finding a landlord.”
Trading standards also have a new power to inspect letting agent and landlord files to see an EPC or evidence that one has been ordered.
The new EPC rules call for landlords and letting agents to give an EPC to a renter before they sign any tenancy agreement or lease.
Properties on the market before midnight on April 5 do not need to upgrade to a new EPC if they already have an old-style certificate. Those without come under the new rules.
The new law also calls for letting agents and landlords to display the first page of the EPC with any online marketing – effectively stopping online marketing before an EPC has been obtained.
The online EPC can be a reduced image or in monochrome instead of colour so long as clicking on the image opens a legible copy of the first page.
The same rules also apply to selling a home or commercial property.
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