Stacey Surveys Ltd
EPCs first came into law in England & Wales on 1st August 2007, for domestic property sales. Therefore their tenth anniversary is upon us, and EPC’s will now start to expire.
Our surveyor Phil Stacey is now recommending that those responsible for checking the validity of EPCs must do more than simply check an EPC exists – they must ensure it is valid.
Up to now everyone assumes that an EPC is valid if it simply exists, this can no longer be assumed, and an extra check is required to ensure valid EPCs are in place for property sales and lettings.
If it is older than ten years then it is out of date and is therefore not legally valid. Our advice would be to ensure that at has at least 6 months remaining on the certificate for marketing purposes.
We advise all people and organisations to check the validity of EPCs, firstly by obtaining the EPC for the property, and then checking the date of certificate displayed on the first page.
The below certificate is valid until 31st January 2018
Significant changes to the EPC
It is also recommended to upgrade the EPC if there have been any significant changes to the property since the last EPC has been produced.
One of the things that can be checked is if the property has had external wall insulation, or cavity wall insulation since the last survey. This can be found on the summary section of the report.
The report is showing the walls as 'as built'. Meaning no insulation has been added to the walls.
If there is currently external wall insulation on the property, or cavity wall insulation then the report should look like this.
The same rule applies for loft insulation. The first report above shows a report with no loft insulation, and you will see the second report showing that the loft and room roof has been insulated.
The best way to check if the EPC is reflecting that a new boiler has been installed, is on the recommendations page. If it is recommending a condensing boiler then the report is basically saying that the property has not got a condensing boiler. The EPC would have been built off the old boiler system and not reflecting the newer efficient one.
My advice would be as follows:
Check on the EPC register if the property has an EPC.
If it has an EPC check that the EPC is valid or has at least 6 months remaining.
If it is valid then go through the report with the owner asking the following questions.
Has the property had external wall insulation since the EPC was produced?
Has the property had Loft insulation installed since the EPC was produced?
Has the property had a new boiler installed since the EPC was produced?
A new EPC to reflect any of the above is likely to have a significant impact on the EPC rating. This could affect a mortgage application, rental agreement or potential purchaser/tenant.