Q&As

If a vendor sells a commercial property without obtaining an energy performance certificate, what are the consequences and will the failure amount to a breach of contract leading to a claim for damages if it were found that major remedial work was needed to increase the energy performance of the building?

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Produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings
Published on LexisPSL on 04/12/2018

The following Property Q&A produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If a vendor sells a commercial property without obtaining an energy performance certificate, what are the consequences and will the failure amount to a breach of contract leading to a claim for damages if it were found that major remedial work was needed to increase the energy performance of the building?

In most cases, if a vendor wishes to sell their commercial property, they must obtain an energy performance certificate (EPC) before sale although there are certain limited exceptions.

The EPC should be organised before the property is marketed as the regulations provide that the EPC must be commissioned prior to, or within seven days of the property being put on the market. The vendor then has a further 21 days for the carrying out of the necessary inspections by the commissioned contractor and the provision of the EPC itself, but if these provisions are breached the vendor can be fined between £500 and £5,000 based on the rateable value of the building, see Practice Note: Energy performance certificates (EPCs)—what are they and when are they required?

Estate agents and other third parties must ensure that an EPC has been commissioned before they can market a property for sale or rent. Further, all advertisements in the commercial media must clearly show the energy rating of the building (where available). EPC’s are valid for ten years and can be re-used as required within that period. A new EPC is not required each time there is a change of tenancy, or the property is sold.

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