Understanding EPC housing regulations in Spain
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is mandatory for Spanish properties that are for sale or rent from the 1 June 2013. Here's a guide to what your property requires.
The purpose of the EPC, also known in Spain as the Certificado de Eficiencia Energetica (CEE), is to ensure that homes are able to run more efficiently and in turn reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This stems from the Kyoto Agreement, which is a worldwide treaty in which the participating countries will do their best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Each property will be tested and scored on a scale ranging from A to G, with ‘A' being extremely efficient and ‘G' being particularly inefficient.
The outcome of the test will not require the owner to change anything (although it is encouraged) within the property. However, if changes should be made they will often allow the owner to save money in the long term.
Effects of EPC on buying a property in Spain
We asked Anthony Bloom from the Spanish Property Sales website who specialises in property for sale in Javea and Moraira in the Costa Blanca region of Spain what implications this will have on expats in the area who either live there now or are looking to move to the area.
"Apart from the additional cost for the seller to obtain the EPC, as most properties in Spain built pre-2000 do not have insulation in them, most properties will therefore not have a favourable energy efficiency result and buyers will obviously use this to their advantage. So the seller will be disadvantaged at his own cost!
On the other hand, if the seller has insulated their home and put in double glazing, apart from the additional cost for the certificate, the EPC should help them make the sale as their property will be less expensive to run and thus obtain a good energy efficiency rating."
EPC regulations for rental properties in Spain
The EPC will affect renters as well as buyers, including short-term holiday lets as well. This is difficult to regulate, but if there is a let exceeding four months, proof of the EPC will be necessary. If you're already leasing a property then you do not need an EPC certificate, although you will do if you lease to a new tenant. If you fail to provide the tenant with the information from the EPC, then your contract can become void, the government can fine you and the tenant could claim compensation from you. If you're renting the property you or your estate agent will have to make sure that you have an EPC.
EPC requirements for selling your property in Spain
If you are planning on selling your property you will need to make sure you have obtained an EPC before it is advertised, and if you have a property already on the market you will have a week after the 1 June 2013 to prove that you have applied for an EPC. Once it has been applied for, you will have an additional three weeks to acquire it, although you are able to apply for one before 1 June.
EPCs are essential when selling a property and estate agents must ensure that the EPC score of your property is included in the property details. Similar to renting, failing to own an EPC can result in an already agreed sale becoming void, with potential for the buyer to claim compensation. In addition to this there is the chance that you and your estate agents can be heavily fined.
How to acquire an EPC
There are official energy performance certifiers who will carry out the test and give you the certificate. The EPC will cost EUR 300. If you do make any changes to your property to improve its energy performance, you have it reassessed to improve your previous score. The certifier will check the necessary points within the house and enter the gathered information into specified software to calculate the score. They will then leave to process the test results and should send the certificate back to the property a short time after.
Spanish Property Sales / Expatica
Photo credit: BY-YOUR-⌘ (photo 2).
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