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Knight Frank comment: New energy performance regulations impact on commercial property agents 22nd April 2012

Fleur Ragan, Knight Frank BristolFrom 6 April, commercial property agents have a legal responsibility to ensure that the buildings they market have an Energy Performance Certificate.

Energy Performance Certificates were introduced for commercial properties from October 2008 onwards to give potential occupiers a clear understanding of the building’s energy and insulation capabilities. Production of the Certificate requires a comprehensive survey of the building’s construction fabric, through to the lighting, heating and ventilation systems that are in place. The data produced is analysed to produce a rating of how energy efficient the building is along with accompanying reports recommending potential improvements.

Fleur Ragan of the building consultancy arm of Knight Frank in Bristol said: “Until now these regulations have been aimed at commercial landlords selling properties but now they are being extended to the property agents as well.

“The regulations are also being extended to all commercial buildings being placed on the market – whether for sale or to rent,” she said.

The changes will expand the powers of Trading Standards Officers so that they will be authorised to require that agents, not just landlords, produce evidence to demonstrate that an EPC has been commissioned. Agents, as well as landlords, may be fined up to £5,000 for non-compliance. 

Fleur Ragan said: “There is also a new requirement that the EPC must now be provided to prospective buyers at the earliest opportunity, so the practice of retaining it until shortly before exchanging contracts has now been made unlawful.” 

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