UK: Energy Performance Certificates - 2012

Last Updated: 22 March 2012
Article by Becky Johnson


Both the seller and their agent may be fined if the EPC Regulations are not complied with. Some of the Regulations apply to the agent only, for example the duty to ensure that a property is not marketed until an EPC is commissioned. Other provisions apply jointly to the seller and the agent acting on their behalf, for example the obligation to obtain the EPC within seven days of marketing the property (with a further 21 day grace period).

As well as the potential to be fined itself, property agents could face a claim for recovery of the fine from the seller if the agent has failed to advise on the EPC requirements. Agents may also potentially face a negligence claim from a seller should a sale fall through because of their failure to comply with the Regulations.

From a practical perspective it would be advisable to ensure that an EPC is actually obtained before putting a property on the market. The front page of the EPC can then be included in the property particulars from the start of the marketing process and a full EPC given to potential purchasers up front. This would avoid the risk of the EPC requirements being forgotten in the course of the marketing process.

Key EPC requirements under the new Regulations (from 6 April 2012)

  • An EPC is required for both residential and commercial properties whether for sale or for rent.
  • The EPC must be commissioned before the property is marketed.
  • All reasonable efforts must be used to ensure the EPC is actually obtained within seven days of the property being put on the market. If this is not obtained there is a further 21 day grace period but if the EPC is not obtained within that timeframe this will constitute a breach of the Regulations and a fine may be payable.
  • Written property particulars must include the first page of the EPC (once received). You cannot now only include the asset rating. The first page however can exclude the address of the property if the address is not included with the particulars for confidentiality purposes.

(Written particulars are particulars which include at least two of the following: a photograph of the building or any room, a floor plan, the size of rooms in the building, the measured area of the building, or if for rent the proposed rent. This includes electronic particulars).

  • The new Regulations confirm that you cannot delay providing the full EPC until just before exchange. The EPC will need to be provided to a potential buyer or tenant without delay.

Liabilities as an agent

The Regulations provide that before marketing the property a person acting on behalf of the seller/ landlord must be satisfied that an EPC has been commissioned for the property. Agents should therefore not proceed to market a property until they are sure this is the case.

The obligation to use all reasonable efforts to obtain the EPC within seven days applies to both the seller/ landlord and a person acting on behalf of the seller.

The provisions applying to providing particulars of the property apply to whoever is acting on the seller/ landlord's behalf in providing the particulars.

Failure to comply with the EPC Regulations can result in a penalty charge notice being issued, normally by a Trading Standards Officer. The level of the penalty charge varies according to the type of property. When selling or renting out a dwelling the charge is currently £200. The penalty for commercial property is in most cases 12.5% of the rateable value, subject to a maximum penalty of £5,000 and a minimum of £500.

Fines of £200 are also payable if EPC documentation is not provided within seven days of being asked to do so by an enforcement authority. It is an offence to obstruct an officer of an enforcement authority who is seeking to inspect EPC documentation.

Penalties can only be issued up to six months after the breach.

Repeated non-compliance may result in an agent being reported to the Office of Fair Trading.

If an agent fails to advise the seller of the requirements to provide an EPC and the seller is fined, the seller may take action against the agent for recovery of the fine. It is also possible that if an agent was negligent in failing to obtain an EPC which led to a sale falling through that a seller could make a claim against their agent for losses incurred.


If a residential property was put on the market before 6 April 2012 the old timescales for providing an EPC for a residential property applies. But if a property is taken off the market and then re-marketed after 6 April 2012 the new regulations will apply on the re-marketing. There are no transitional provisions for commercial properties so it would appear that providing an EPC without delay and the rules regarding including the front page in the particulars will apply from 6 April to properties already on the market.

The EPC Regulations do not apply to all buildings. A building for the purposes of the Regulations is "a roofed construction having walls, for which energy is used to condition the indoor climate". This includes buildings with fixed heating, mechanical ventilation or air conditioning. Buildings that only have hot water or electric lighting do not fall within the Regulations.

The Regulations also will not apply where the property in question falls into one of the following categories:

  • Places of worship
  • Temporary buildings with a planned time of use of 2 years or less
  • Industrial sites and workshops with low energy demand
  • Non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demands
  • Stand-alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m2 which is not a dwelling
  • If it can be demonstrated that the building is to be demolished and redeveloped as set out in the Regulations.

In the event a fine is issued there are defences set out in the Regulations that may be raised in defence of liability to pay a penalty charge notice, such as where a tenant is relocating urgently.

EPCs do not need to be provided if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the prospective buyer or tenant is unlikely to have sufficient means to buy/rent the building, is not genuinely interested or is someone that the seller/landlord is not likely to be prepared to sell/rent to.

If you have any queries regarding your obligations to provide EPCs, or if you think that you may have a defence to the need to provide an EPC or to a fine incurred, it would be advisable to seek legal advice.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.