Agents are warned about another change relating to EPCs, which will affect all property advertising – including in newspapers and on portals.
A new requirement – albeit in draft but seen by EAT – says that EPC ratings must be ‘clearly shown’ on all advertising.
This suggests that, for example, a website link will not be enough, and as the advice stands, it looks as though property listings on Rightmove and Zoopla will have to state the EPC rating ‘at the first opportunity’.
As yet, there appears to be no guidance as to exactly how the rating has to be displayed, but it suggests that using small print will not be an option.
The draft guidance from the Department of Communities and Local Government stipulates: “From January 2013 all sales or lettings advertisements in the commercial media should show the EPC rating of the property being advertised. There is no requirement for the full certificate to be displayed but the A-G rating needs to be clearly shown.
“For the purposes of this document, ‘Commercial Media’ is used to mean:
• Newspapers and magazines
• Written material produced by the seller/ landlord/ estate agent that describes the building being offered for sale or rent
• The internet.”
One observer tells us: “It will be interesting to see local newspaper adverts with dozens of properties on one page, all with an EPC rating.”
New housing minister Mark Prisk, who was previously in charge of the Red Tape Challenge at Vince Cable’s Business, Innovation and Skills department (BIS), apparently has yet to make his views known on EPCs.
More on this as and when we get it.