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Legal Updates

Do I need an EPC on the sale or let of a listed building?

10 August 2021 #Commercial Real Estate


An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement when constructing, selling or renting out a building. The purpose of an EPC, as you might expect, is to show the energy efficiency of a property. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. There are, however, commercial EPC exemptions. 

What are the commercial exemptions? 

  • Places of worship; 
  • Temporary buildings that will be used for less than two years; 
  • Stand-alone buildings (having less than 50 square metres of floor-space); 
  • Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that do not use a lot of energy; 
  • Some buildings that are due to be demolished; 
  • Holiday accommodation rented out for less than four months per year;
  • Residential buildings intended to be used less than four months a year; and 
  • Listed buildings 

Listed building exemption 

From January 2013 there has been an ‘exemption’ for listed buildings. However, the exemption is qualified, it states: ‘Insofar as compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance’. The qualification covers works that might be carried out to the property to improve its energy performanceIf such works would unacceptably alter the building’s character or appearance, then the listed building would qualify for an exemption. 

What works would be considered as ‘altering their character or appearance’. 

The energy efficiency of older buildings can be improved in many different ways. Some measures might have very minimal impact on the character and appearance of the building, such as changing to a more efficient boiler.  

Other measures such as adding new double-glazed windows or solid wall insulation could have a substantial impact. It also needs to be considered that listed buildings vary greatly in the extent they can accommodate change both internally and externally. 

The current guidance produced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) suggests that ‘building owners will need to take a view as to whether this will be the case for their buildings’. 

MHCLG also suggest owners might contact their Local Authority’s conservation officer if they are in any doubt. 

Despite this if they are willing or able to provide it, the local authority may charge for such advice and some local authorities do not even have conservation officers. 

Please speak to our Real Estate team if you have any further questions or require their assistance.

Clarkslegal, specialist Real Estate lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Real Estate matter please contact Clarkslegal's real estate team by email at realestate@clarkslegal.com by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
Disclaimer
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Kiran Malik

Kiran Malik
Solicitor

E: kmalik@clarkslegal.com
T: 01189604662‬
M: 07748638845

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Commercial Real Estate team
+44 (0)118 958 5321