EPCs: To display or not to display, that is the question!
The question on everyone's lips is: Who is bound by this new obligation? Unfortunately the Regulations do not help us with any explanation! In a single-let building, where the tenant will normally have to comply with statutory obligations under its lease, the common sense interpretation is that the tenant should display the EPC. But what about a multi-let building? The position is less clear. Applying common sense, the obligation should be for an occupier to display the EPC, but the Regulations are silent…
Does this obligation require anyone to commission a new EPC to be displayed in the building? Thankfully not. The obligation only applies once an EPC has been provided on a sale or letting or if initial construction or certain types of alteration works have been carried out under the Building Regs.
We also wonder what "frequently visited" means and who the "public" is. Is an office building, where people frequently attend for meetings, caught by the obligation? Or is it excluded because the attendees are there by invitation?
Wait a minute though. There is no provision in the 2012 Regulations for this obligation to be enforced, and no penalty for any breach of it. The Government has said recently that this is deliberate, as it is cutting down on red tape so, for the time being at least, self-compliance is the answer!
The case of Isaaks v Charlton Homes Ltd concerned a lease which incorrectly recorded the demise as a “third floor flat”. In fact, the property was a second floor flat....12 May 2016