Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Changes to EPCs are delayed yet again

Important changes to rules on EPCs affecting agents have been postponed until next April.

They could have been implemented as early as next week, but are now set to kick in on April 6, 2012.

There have been few concessions in the much-delayed changes, but further guidance will be issued before next spring.

The only real concession, as already revealed on LAT, is that the requirement for agents, both sales and lettings, to attach an EPC report to all particulars has been toned down so that only the first page of the EPC will now have to be attached.

However, this is unlikely to please critics who point out that it will still mean having to produce and print another sheet of paper, and it will be almost immaterial as to whether it is printed on one or both sides.

Otherwise, agents will have to prove they have ordered an EPC before marketing, and will have seven days to produce an EPC – or a further 21 if they haven’t managed to do so, despite trying.

The changes in regulations will also mean that Trading Standards officers will have new powers to get agents to prove that they have commissioned an EPC when marketing a property without one. A number of ‘consequential changes’ to the role of Trading Standards, allowing them to enforce their new duties, will be made.

Where the property’s address has been omitted from the particulars, it will not be necessary to put the address on the EPC.

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