Covid19 – EPCs should still take place, but only where safe

Written on 13 April 2020 by Giles Cook in Property News


The government has issued guidance for homeowners about energy performance certificate (EPC) assessments during the coronavirus crisis. 

In an announcement on 2 April, the government said that EPCs remain a legal requirement when selling or renting out a home. However, EPC inspections should only be carried out where this can happen safely and in line with current rules around social distancing. 

energy-performance-certificate-EPC-assessments-during-the-coronavirus-crisis

The government guidance says that, where possible, property transactions and EPC assessments must be delayed until measures requiring people to stay at home have been lifted. 

In cases where it is impossible for a sale to be delayed, and a valid EPC is not already in place, the assessment may be carried out. If a property is empty, the EPC assessment may proceed as normal. Otherwise, the assessor must follow government guidelines on social distancing, including by staying two metres away from all occupants. 

Assessments should not take place while any member of the household is showing symptoms of the virus, if they are self-isolating or a vulnerable person who is being shielded. 

An up-to-date EPC is a legal requirement when a property is sold, let or constructed and must be completed by an accredited assessor using a standard procedure. Each EPC is valid for 10 years. EPCs give a property an energy efficiency rating between A and G, with A being the most efficient. As of this month, all properties for rent must achieve a rating of at least an E. 

According to normal government guidance, a valid EPC must be in place within seven days of a property being put on the market. If reasonable efforts have been made to obtain a valid EPC, but this has not been possible, a further 21-day grace period is allowed, after which enforcement action may be taken. 

Read more about EPCs during the coronavirus outbreak on the gov.uk website. 

Giles Cook

Giles recently joined Best Gapp in 2017 as Partner Designate and Head of Residential Agency, bringing over 20 years’ experience to the firm. Following a three-year stint as an Area Director for Foxtons, he went on to head up Chestertons’ sales and lettings operations in central London, before becoming a Partner at top Knightsbridge boutique WA Ellis.

All articles by Giles Cook

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