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Rules relaxed for Energy Performance Certificates

The Government is relaxing rules on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for commercial buildings already on the market when new regulations come into force in April.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is to offer a six month grace period for property up for let or sale ahead of the April 6 deadline when EPCs become compulsory for any commercial building over 10,000 square metres.

Landlords and property owners will now have until October to secure EPCs for property on the market, but not sold by April 6.

A department spokesman said: 'Buildings are a major source of carbon emissions and it's essential that we improve energy efficiency in commercial properties as well as domestic if we're serious about tackling climate change.

'The introduction of EPCs for commercial properties is therefore going ahead this year - starting with the largest buildings from April and smaller buildings from July - just as the government announced last November.

'However, in response to industry representations, we are introducing some flexibility to fulfilling this requirement for those commercial buildings put on the market before the entry into force of the EPC requirement and which remain on the market afterwards.

'For these buildings landlords can commission an EPC at the point of sale or lease and have to hand it over as soon as practicable afterwards, and by October at the latest.

'Similar provisions will apply for the introduction of EPCs on smaller commercial buildings from July. This will make it easier for owners and landlords to comply with the legislation and support a smooth introduction and prevent any possible market fluctuations.'