EPCs have been a legal requirement to all properties marketed for sale or to let in Belfast, Northern Ireland as well as in the rest of the UK and Ireland. Here we answer to most common questions asked by homeowners in regards to the EPC Belfast.
- How much will an EPC cost?
There is no set price for obtaining Energy Performance Certificates. The market decides the cost of getting an EPC. The cost varies according to some factors, including the type of building, number of rooms, size, and location of the property.
- How long will it take to perform an energy assessment?
An EPC assessment can take between 30 minutes and 2 hours. The duration of the assessment depends on the size and nature of the building. EPC for residential apartments may take between 30 to 45 minutes, while commercial assessments vary between 45 minutes and 2 hours. EPC assessments for bigger and more complex properties usually take longer than smaller and simpler properties.
- Will an energy assessor have to visit the property?
Yes. An assessor will have to visit your property for the EPC survey. EPC assessments must be based on an assessor’s visit or the evaluation of another representative apartment that must be visited.
- What happens if my home gets a low rating?
You will be given recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your building in a report attached to your Energy Performance Certificate. Although implementing these recommendations will increase your EPC rating, reduce emissions, and make your building cost and energy-efficient, there is no legal obligation to carry out the recommendations. Also, a higher rating will improve the marketability of your property since potential buyers or tenants will regard the home as more energy sufficient and less costly to manage.
- Do I need a new EPC every time I sell or rent to a prospective buyer or tenant?
No, you do not need a new Energy Performance Certificate every time you decide to rent out or sell your building. A single EPC remains valid for ten years unless you carry out major renovation on the property or install energy efficiency equipment. During these ten years, your EPC can be used multiple times. You can use the same EPC for every new buyer and tenant. If you want to sell or rent out your property after the ten years validity, then a new EPC will be required.
- When is an EPC not required for properties in Belfast?
An EPC is not required if:
- You are letting out or selling only a part of your property. Therefore, single rooms or parts of a building being rented out do not require an EPC.
- You are selling your property but understand beyond a doubt that the buyer wants to demolish the building on purchase.
EPC is also not required for specialized buildings that are:
- Places of worship or buildings used for religious purposes.
- Stand-alone buildings with less than 50 square meters of useful floor space or dwellings
- Holiday accommodation and residential buildings which are only used or occupied for less than four months in a year.
- Industrial sites, workshops or non-residential, agricultural buildings that have low energy requirements
- Buildings or property planned to be used for less than two years
If you live in Belfast, you can contact an estate agent for more information or search on line for EPC assessors.