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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Energy Performance Certificates – What if the Building’s Going to be Demolished?

Do you have to commission an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when you know the building on the site you’re selling or renting out is going to be knocked down?

In most cases, following a change in the rules, the answer is now more likely to be “yes”.

The new rules governing the provision of EPCs came into effect on 6 April 2012.

This detail on demolition only caught my eye recently though.

Under the old 2007 rules there was an exemption for non-residential property which meant you didn’t need to commission an EPC if the building was being sold or rented out with vacant possession; was suitable for demolition; the resulting site was suitable for redevelopment; and you believed on reasonable grounds that the prospective buyer or tenant intended to demolish the building.

Evidence of a planning application was usually enough to demonstrate that.

Under the new 2012 rules, for the exemption to apply to non-residential property, not only must the site be suitable for demolition and redevelopment, but you must also be able to show that:

·         all the relevant planning permissions, listed building consents and conservation area consents exist for the demolition; and

·         for the redevelopment either outline planning permission or planning permission exists, or both; and where relevant, listed building consent exists.

The new rules, in effect, bring non-residential property into line with the section of the 2007 rules that applied to dwellings, and which continues to apply to dwellings.

So, for non-residential property, for the exemption to apply it won’t be enough any longer just to show that someone has made a planning application.

What this means in practice is that in most cases the exemption is unlikely to be available.

Even if you know the building is going to be demolished and you are marketing the site on that basis, unless planning permission and the other necessary consents have been granted (both for the demolition and redevelopment), you’ll have to commission an EPC within 7 days of marketing the site and attach a copy of the first page of it to the written particulars.

You basically have to pay someone to tell the world about the energy efficiency of a soon-to-be-non-existent building.

The modern world.

Dontcha just love it?


  1. Jon, the fact that there is a consent for demolition and also for development indicates to me that the property has a very short shelf life anyway. What would be the objective in securing a letting in those circumstances that would encourage a Landlord to seek a tenant, assuming one could be found in the time and circumstances prevailing? And still want to incur the cost of an EPC?

  2. Malcolm - thanks for your comment. Letting in those circumstances probably doesn't happen that often (although there may be a reason for a short term let), but the regulations refer to letting as well as sales, so that's why I mentioned it.

  3. Mark Davies1 May 2012 15:44

    I suppose the authorities would say that even though you have planning etc consents granted you still have the choice to implement them or not as the case may be so to cover all bases - get your EPC out!!

  4. Mark - funnily enough, if you actually have all the planning consents, you're let off! The rules don't say they have to be implemented. It's only if you don't have the consents (for demolition and redevelopment) that you need to get the EPC, even if you've made applications for consents. That's just where they've chosen to draw the line I guess, and it's consistent at least with the rules on residential property. Still seems a bit harsh though where there is a clear intention to demolish, albeit one not yet backed up by consents.