Since 1st April 2018, when granting a lease of a commercial property landlords must have a valid EPC in place under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards and The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015. This is also compulsory on an extension or renewal of an existing lease.
It is important to also note that recently the Government has tightened the rules, and from 1 April 2023, all existing commercial properties must have an EPC rating of “E” or above.
Before this date Landlords of non-domestic rented properties have only been permitted to grant a new tenancy, or to extend or renew an existing tenancy, if their property has at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) “E” rating.
This is the law whenever a property is built, sold or rented. This is part of the government’s push to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This is whether the lease is a new lease or a sub-lease of whole where the mesne tenant will become responsible for the EPC upon the grant of the sub-lease.
If your property is currently empty, and you have no plans to let it, you do not need to take any action to improve its rating until you decide to let it again.
There are some exemptions for certain properties and these need to be registered under the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.
The enforcement authority may check for different forms of non-compliance, including one or more of the following:
- from 1 April 2018, you let your property in breach of the Regulations
- from 1 April 2023, you continue to let your property in breach of the Regulations
- you have registered any false or misleading information on the PRS Exemptions Register
So we can see that the rules do have powers of enforcement behind them which include issuing financial penalties from the Local Weights and Measures Authorities.
Should you need any further advice on upon commercial property legal matters then please do not hesitate to contact David Formby at Setfords.
Posted by David Formby
David has practised as a commercial and residential property solicitor since 2007. He has advised investors, companies, lenders, developers, and landowners over his time in both high street and commercial firms.