While everyone in the property world attempts to adjust to the new normal and carry on so far as possible, here is a reminder about how to deal with Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) during this time.
Energy Performance Certificates in lockdown:
- A valid EPC is a legal requirement when a property is sold, let or constructed (unless one of the exemptions applies) and must be completed by an accredited assessor. This must be provided before the property is sold or let.
- The UK government has not relaxed the rules around this during the COVID-19 lockdown, but has produced additional guidance around this requirement.
- EPC assessments should only be carried out in accordance with government advice on home moving during the COVID-19 outbreak.
EPC assessments should only be carried out if they can be conducted safely.
- If a property is vacant, obviously there is less issue with an Energy Performance Certificates being carried out safely and in accordance with the guidelines.
- If a property is occupied, parties must endeavour to agree that the transaction can be delayed so that an EPC assessment can proceed when stay-at-home measures are no longer in place.
- No assessments should take place if any person in the property is showing symptoms, self-isolating or being shielded.
- If moving is unavoidable and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, and a valid EPC is not available from the register, an assessment may need to be conducted. In these circumstances, government guidelines on staying away from others to minimise the spread of the virus must be followed alongside the guidance for carrying out work in people’s homes.
It is clear from the guidance that the government would prefer if Energy Performance Certificates assessments were not carried out during this period but if this is unavoidable then the general guidelines on movement and safety during lockdown apply.
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