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Written by rosalind renshaw

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The draft guidance from the Department of Communities and Local Government stipulates: “From January 2013 all sales or lettings advertisements in the commercial media should show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.


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    Has anyone been fined for not displaying an EPC?

    What's the point of having these regulations if the government cant be bothered to enforce them????

    • 06 November 2012 19:05 PM
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    Added by Andrew on 2012-11-05 10:34:20

    "They have just introduced this in Scotland, however the "authorities" have conceded that you don't need to show the whole EPC graph, just the rating letter"

    EPCs, as part of a Home Report, have been required for most every property for sale since Dec 2008.....

    'Just' introduced....?

    • 06 November 2012 16:15 PM
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    The format and colours are clearly designed to send subliminal messages in order to subjugate our Industry. Why regulate when you can reign...

    My name's dave and I'm here all week!

    • 06 November 2012 15:39 PM
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    What is an EPC?

    • 06 November 2012 14:17 PM
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    Who gives a toss? Just stick the EPC in the details. It's not difficult.

    • 06 November 2012 11:36 AM
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    "But I think that the weird weather we have had over the last few years is undeniable."

    Are you serious?

    • 06 November 2012 11:31 AM
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    This is purely for taxation. If anyone believes differently, they are going to look pretty niaive when the bill lands on their doorstep.

    The reason for the graphs appearing everywhere is familiarity. When the government finally announces that all remaining properties (probably a minority of properties at that stage) are to get the reports done, you will have accepted it as normality. Once that's done, the bills are in the post.

    Remember, this is For Your Protection!

    • 06 November 2012 11:24 AM
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    Surely some of you can see where this is heading....

    The EPC is the only way to 'prove' the current state (in efficiency terms) of our UK housing stock. Let's not get into the debate about it's true worth and whether it proves anything or not by counting light bulbs, but the reason for its existence is so the Government can report on the current state of housing stock. Fact!

    If the country is being handed energy efficiency ultimatums by Brussels about our future energy efficiency obligations, and the EPC is the vehicle to report this, then EPC's will be enforced.

    How? Simple!
    Amend Council Tax bands and/or Stamp Duty to have a chunk related to the energy efficiency of your home. Suddenly EPCs become vital to buyers!

    Is it coincidence that there are calls to introduce a Mansion Tax? Couldn't the Government side step this by introducing an 'eco tax' that has the same net effect (most mansions are inefficient buildings), but isn't seen as bashing the rich in quite the same, direct manner?

    I don't agree with the direction, but that's where it's all heading!

    • 06 November 2012 11:03 AM
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    @ Anonymous Coward

    Your point No 2 is going to change soon with the Green Deal. Others with vested interests will be willing to stand the cost of the Epc.

    2013 will be a year of change. Green Deal, PMA gone, new business models encouraged the two are related. Don't get left behind.

    • 05 November 2012 18:05 PM
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    The point is not that I know each and every one, but that at least it is measured...

    It's a bit like sales targets, if you know how many sales your company needs to do to make a profit, but don't actually count how many deals your negs put together or even add up the commission cheques when they come in, how on earth do you know if you are being effective?

    The idea is that over the next couple of decades the public opinion will change and will appear "normal" and people will always ask.

    There are 2 problems:

    1. You haven't been sold the idea of WHY we need it
    2. Agents and owners are paying to get it done

    The reason that (1) has happened is because the climate change denyers are very vocal and the scientists cannot PROVE it 100%. But I think that the weird weather we have had over the last few years is undeniable.

    The reason for (2) is that the government can't afford it and it would be considered a serious invasion of privacy if they insisted on it. Therefore it gets done when you sell or rent it.

    Makes a lot of sense really.

    Stop complaining and just get on with it, knowing that it is not red tape for the sake of it, but that in time you will have done your bit to make sure that your grand kids will not need cosmetic surgery for gills and flippers


    • 05 November 2012 17:34 PM
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    El Burro, your question to Anonymous Coward was about cars/appliances not houses. Given the choice I (like many others) would go for something which costs less to run.

    The purpose of Epcs is not to put people off buying inefficient houses. It is to make them aware of that inefficiency and of the costs (and benefits) involved in remedying them.

    Energy costs are rising (7-10% just added) and the trend will continue. A high percentage of UK housing stock is very inefficient. Simple, inexpensive (often funded) steps can cut energy use and save money.

    The timing of this, not by accident, coincides with the Green Deal.

    • 05 November 2012 17:11 PM
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    Oh Big Ted, come on, at least make it more plausible by dropping in a couple of B ratings!!

    You fail on the house and car ratings-it would mean you having a brand new eco home and a Toyota Prius:

    1 Your new eco home would have have a bike rack to take a unicycle made out of recycled Japanese Knotweed, not a parking space for the Prius

    2 You wouldn't have been able to afford a Toyota Prius in the first place 'cos builders would have had to hike up the price of your new home so much to cover the ridiculous costs of getting to Code 3 level

    Nice try my little eco warrior!

    • 05 November 2012 16:48 PM
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    Well = it may spell the end of paper based advertising

    • 05 November 2012 11:46 AM
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    El Burro

    Mine are all A rated.

    • 05 November 2012 11:36 AM
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    Do M.P. not actually know the definintion of RED TAPE.

    • 05 November 2012 11:30 AM
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    Mark them up you mean the agenst are making a secret profit, we dont mark them up at all, and if you do then I hope you tell your Clients

    • 05 November 2012 11:19 AM
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    @ Anonymous Coward

    Ok matey, without phoning the missus at home and asking her to dig out the instruction manual (no love, it's in the THIRD drawer down . . .) tell us what the ratings are on your 'Car, fridge, TVs, dishwasher and so on'?

    And did it make you buy that one instead of something else better, cheaper or more attractive?

    In fact let's all ask our local eco warriors the same question!!

    . . . . . I didn't think so!

    • 05 November 2012 11:13 AM
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    The concept behind EPCs is sound.

    Most people would struggle to deny that our climate is changing around us as we watch... Warming I don't know, but changing drastically is absolutely certain.

    On that basis, knowing the environmental impact of properties is probably a very good idea.

    Raising the awareness of the general public by FORCING this on us is probably the only way to do it.

    Cars have it, so do fridges, TVs, dishwashers and so on.

    It is a good idea.

    That said, it probably does mean that newspaper advertising could be over soon - YAY!

    • 05 November 2012 10:56 AM
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    If Epcs are such a waste of clients money how come so many agents mark them up ?

    • 05 November 2012 10:45 AM
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    surely there is more to concern themselves with than some graphs?! or has the UK turned into utopia with only minute items left to deal with and ive not noticed?!

    • 05 November 2012 10:37 AM
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    They have just introduced this in Scotland, however the "authorities" have conceded that you don't need to show the whole EPC graph, just the rating letter, e.g. EPC band C. It comes into force early Jan. We have modified our software (bdphq.com) to account for this, so when it comes to England (which given the spineless weaklings who are running this (once) great country (into the ground), it will surely follow sooner or later), we at least will be ready!

    • 05 November 2012 10:34 AM
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    What a waste of clients monies, I have been in property industry since 1986, and when homesellers pack's came in we only had 1 person ask for a pack to look at, when we asked what they was looking for they said nothing in particular just wanted to know what it was.
    EPC's same thing never have I had anyone actually ask for one or indeed act upon one, the issues we have is when an Owner disputes the EPC because they cannot believe the report,, why is the Govenment sop hell bent on this.
    If the legislation say's that you have to publish in the paper also then we will not be advertising anymorein the paper, because of cost's we pay for space to advertise the clients property not the EPC for the Govenment......

    • 05 November 2012 10:33 AM
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    Perhaps Peter Bolton King could speak up?

    • 05 November 2012 10:19 AM
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    I've only ever had one buyer ask for an EPC, and they didn't even offer on a property.

    Most solicitors I deal with don't ask for them either, or when they do they rarely chase if they aren't forthcoming.

    No-one cares, so why bother.

    EU nonsense as usual.

    • 05 November 2012 10:18 AM
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    Q. Are these people living in the same world as the rest of us?
    A. No!
    Most of these problems are the result of 'Directives' from Europe. We must regain contol of our own country from the EU and trade with the rest of the sane world as soon as possible.

    • 05 November 2012 10:13 AM
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    Perhaps our esteemed professional body in Warwickland could put together a cohesive survey of buyers and tenants to see how interested they are in EPC's and present it to the DCLG and its boss Eric Pickled?

    Some of the most popular properties in our area are turn of the century (no my friends not 20/21st Century but the Victorian one) or 1920/30's built and they are about as energy efficient as a tent at Glastonbury . . . but it don't stop people buying 'em!

    When it comes down to it, where it is and what it is will always overrule a graph that looks like it should be under a fridge magnet alongside drawings from your 3 year old.

    • 05 November 2012 10:04 AM
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    More pointless red tape ... why to Governments and officials waste time on silly things like this

    • 05 November 2012 09:30 AM
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    Yet another ill thought out hair brained idea that should be consigned to Room 101

    • 05 November 2012 09:16 AM
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    Love the response that Russell got from Trading Standards, just shows how well the legislation is being enforced!
    The whole thing is a joke as most people aren't insterested in the EPC and if this is enforced in newspaper print we will certainly stop using newspaper advertising as it costs enough anyway but to lose half of the advertisement to EPC details is a waste of money (a bit like EPC's!!).

    • 05 November 2012 08:54 AM
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    Nice one Russell and as Breaking Dad says nobody gives a fig about them anyway. I have had 2 people ask to see them in all the time they have been available and I think the second one was to make sure we had one. I wonder when our esteemed elected dictators of a so called government will realise this.

    • 05 November 2012 08:52 AM
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    We are the only agent in our town out of 7 that actually bothers to put the EPC page with our details, one agent doesnt even put the graph on line either. I spoke to our local trading standards who agreed that the other 6 agents are all in breech of the new rules, but told me they dont have the power to enforce it or apply a fine!!!!! If agents arent bothering now, they wont when they change anyway!

    • 05 November 2012 08:34 AM
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    Well that'll kill the local papers once and for all. Having a link on a website ad is one thing and easily done, having it attached to the tiny amount of printed details we use compared to electronic one is also easy but can you imagine the paper full of EPCs

    • 05 November 2012 07:43 AM
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    Haha!! No ones paying attention to the current legislation and they want to change it again!! I was looking at a rental property yesterday on a major agency website and it was of course redacted. I laugh in the face of this article.

    • 05 November 2012 07:33 AM
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