Now here: energy certificates for Spanish properties

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Now here: energy certificates for Spanish properties

The EPC has now been introduced into properties in Spain! So if you are looking at buying, renting, or selling a home there you will need to make sure you know what it is, and that you are meeting the necessary requirements put in place by the Spanish government. How do you meet them? What will happen if you don't? We answer these and other FAQs.

What is an EPC?
The EPC or the Energy Performance Certificate is an initiative being used to establish the efficiency of properties, in an effort to reduce unnecessary carbon emissions. This has come from the Kyoto Agreement, an international treaty, in which countries attempt to reduce their carbon footprint. When taking the test (you need to contact a certified assessor), your property will be scored by being given a grade, the best being 'A' going down to 'G'; 'A' being extremely efficient and 'G' being quite inefficient. If you do make changes to your property you can have it reassessed to gain a better score.

When is it being introduced?
The EPC was put in place in Spain on the 1st June 2013 so you now have to make sure that you are in accordance with the law from that date, meaning that you may have to take action before this date. Any property advertised for sale or rent via an agent will need this certificate.

What are the costs involved?
Acquiring an EPC from the Spanish government is going to cost you €300, however if you do not comply with the conditions, the government can fine you heavily and it may well end up costing you a lot more than you initially thought.

What will it mean for Spanish home owners?
"With the approx cost of obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the average property said to be around €300 and the fact that most properties in Spain over 13 years old don't have insulation or double glazing fitted, it's not exactly in the sellers interest to make it public," says Anthony Bloom of Spanish Property Sales (agents in Javea/Moraira). "Buyers will no doubt use a poor rating result to reduce the price further. It's obviously going to be welcome news for the double-glazing and insulation industry! Hopefully, we will eventually see more of the older properties insulated like the newer homes that have been built over the years. It's needed to keep the heat in during the winter and the air-conditioned rooms cool in the summer." People that just holiday in Spain probably don't realise just how cold it can be during the winter should a cold front move in from Siberia!"

What about people hunting for a Spanish property now?
If you are currently hunting for a property then you will need to make sure that if you are going to buy a property after 1st June 2013 the EPC is presented to you with the score. If it is not, then the contract may become void, and you may have grounds to claim compensation against the owner of the property and the estate agents. If you currently own your home but use it for less than four months a year, you will not need an EPC, however if you live in it permanently you will need to make sure that you get one, especially if you're planning on selling.

What about landlords of Spanish properties?

If you are already renting out your property to a tenant then you do not need to have an EPC, however if you change tenants you will need to ensure that you have one. If you do not obtain one, and you do not present it to the new tenants you risk your contract becoming void; the new tenant could sue you and your estate agents for compensation; and the government could fine you.

What happens if you fail to get one?

If you fail to get an EPC when buying/renting/selling you could, as aforementioned, be heavily fined by the government and if you are in the middle of completing a contract with a new buyer/tenant you could make it void and be sued for compensation. Fines can be from €3,000 to €600,000.

The EPC is really worth getting, not only will you save money by complying with the laws, but you could also save money in the long term if you try to improve your EPC score, for example, if you buy efficient insulation for your home you could save a lot of money on heating. Not only this but you should also make sure that you have an EPC when selling or renting to make sure that you keep then contract within the law.

Download our guide to buying property in Spain or search for Spanish properties for sale.

Author

A Place In The Sun