Recent years have seen businesses across all industries focus on ways that they can protect the environment.
In the construction industry, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) have emerged as a significant factor when it comes to the building of residential properties and as such have had an impact on residential conveyancing as we know it today.
Introduced in 2007 as part of the UK’s commitment to the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, EPCs have become a crucial part of the property buying and selling process.
What is an EPC?
An EPC provides a rating for the energy efficiency of a building, ranging from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
It offers an overview of the property’s energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, along with recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency.
An EPC is required whenever a property is built, sold, or rented.
EPCs and residential conveyancing
Sellers must order an EPC for potential buyers to view before a property is marketed for sale. This requirement has added an extra step in the conveyancing process, but it also offers several benefits:
Insights for buyers
EPCs give potential buyers valuable information about a property’s energy efficiency. This can influence a buyer’s decision, particularly for those concerned about environmental impact and energy costs.
A property with a high EPC rating may be more attractive to buyers, potentially increasing its market value.
Failure to obtain an EPC before selling a property can result in fines, adding a legal dimension to the conveyancing process. Conveyancers must ensure that an EPC is in place to avoid legal complications.
Encouraging energy efficiency
By making energy performance a key part of the property transaction process, EPCs encourage homeowners to improve their property’s energy efficiency.
This can lead to long-term benefits, such as reduced energy costs and lower carbon emissions.
The future of EPCs in conveyancing
The importance of EPCs in residential conveyancing is likely to increase in the future.
The Government’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require significant improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings.
This could lead to stricter EPC requirements and potentially impact property values and the conveyancing process.
The introduction of EPCs has added a new layer to the residential conveyancing process.
While this has brought additional responsibilities, it has also provided opportunities for improved house prices and better decision-making, as well as the promotion of energy-efficient homes.
If you’d like to know more about how EPCs affect residential conveyancing or have any other conveyancing-related query, please contact us today.
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Director - Commercial Property & Charities
I joined Mander Hadley in 2004, qualified as a solicitor in 2006 and have focussed on commercial law throughout. I am also a member of Coventry and Warwickshire First and Warwickshire Law Society.