From April 6th 2012, all letting agents will have to be satisfied that an EPC has been commissioned prior to taking on an instruction from a landlord and obtained within 7 Days of marketing the property to let.
The previous regulation insisted on an EPC before Marketing a property to let, but allowed 28 days grace to obtain, of there was difficulties. The new regulation, give a 21 day allowance beyond the 7 days, as long as all reasonable steps have been taken to obtain the EPC, within the 7 days.
The Asset status, or first page of the EPC chart, now has to be displayed on any “written” particulars produced and page 2 (the recommendation) must be given to the tenant before they move in. So amendments to processes, will have to be made here.
Where ‘Written particulars’ are stated these are to include electronic communications (emails) and are specified in the new regulations as containing at least two of the following:
• a photograph of the building or any room in the building,
• a floor plan of the building,
• the size of the rooms in the building,
• the measured area of the building, or,
• in relation to a building being rented out, the proposed rent.
Any property advertisement which includes at least 2 of the above condition’s, should therefore now include the first page of the EPC. As almost all adverts include a photo and the price or a size and price it will be hard to avoid this.
The penalty for failing to adhere to the regulations is £200 for dwellings and will still be enforced by trading standard officers.
As Letting Agents, make sure you check your processes with regards to this and amend accordingly.
Sally Lawson is a Leading authority on Residential Lettings and Management in th UK, Sally has ran Lettings Branches since 1990, and let over 5000 properties during that time. She has also worked as a consultant and trainer to Letting agents nationwide. Sally is actively involved with ARLA (the association of residential letting agents) as a regional representative and Media Spokesperson for the group, and runs the rapidly expanding nationwide Concentric Lettings operation and Franchised network. www.SallyLawson.co.uk