COVID-19 EPC Guidance released by Government (England & Wales)
Following requests from Elmhurst and PEPA, the Government has now issued guidance around the production of Energy Perfrormance Certificates (EPCs) in existing properties/buildings, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
A quick summary of the guidance states:
- The legal requirement to obtain an EPC before selling or letting a property remains in place.
- A valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement when a property is sold, let or constructed and must be completed by an accredited assessor, unless an exemption can be applied for MEES purposes.
- EPC assessments should only be conducted in accordance with government advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreakand where the EPC assessment can be conducted safely.
- Where 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 to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) are no longer in place
- 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.
- EPC assessments can continue in cases where the property is vacant.
- Landlords should also see further information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and the enforcement of standards in rented properties.
- No assessments should take place if any person in the property is showing symptoms, self-isolating or being shielded – if securing an EPC is critical you should seek to reschedule your appointment when it is safe to do so in accordance with Government guidelines on staying away from others.
Stuart Fairlie, Elmhurst's Technical and Operations Director, stated: “Any guidance specifically related to the production of EPCs is welcomed and this essentially follows what Elmhurst has been saying since the beginning. As far as we are concerned the number one piece of advice is to stay safe and protect people. If EPCs on existing buildings have to be produced, then they can be undertaken on empty properties. Until the stay at home measures are removed, we hope that all stakeholders involved will show common sense and pragmatism.”
Read full guidance from government here.
More information is also available from Elmhurst's COVID-19 FAQs
Article published: 03/04/20