Don’t forget that the deadline for the minimum EPC rating on commercial is fast approaching.
From April 1, it will become unlawful for a landlord to continue to let a substandard commercial property unless they have made all possible cost-effective energy efficiency improvements prescribed by Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), ensuring all rental properties have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above.
In basic terms, that means any commercial property with an EPC rating of F or G will be considered ‘substandard’, and therefore they could be liable to pay thousands of pounds of very avoidable fines.
You will need to have achieved a minimum rating of e, unless the property is exempt:
- listed or officially protected and the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter it
- a temporary building only going to be used for 2 years or less
- used as a place of worship or for other religious activities
- an industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that doesn’t use much energy
- a detached building with a total floor space under 50 square metres
- due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the relevant planning and conservation consents
Vacant buildings and demolition
A building is also exempt if all of the following are true:
- it’s due to be sold or rented out with vacant possession
- it’s suitable for demolition and the site could be redeveloped
- the buyer or tenant has applied for planning permission to demolish it
The legislation states that landlords who fail to comply could look at a fine of a minimum of £5,000 or non-compliant properties let for less than three months. When non-compliance extends beyond a three-month period, penalties could reach 20% of the rateable value, with a minimum fine of £10,000 to a maximum of £150,000.
The intention of the regulations is that all rented non-domestic buildings achieve an EPC of C by 2027 before attaining B by 2030. On current assessments, only 12% of all registered commercial properties meet this criteria.