1. The 2012 EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Regulations came into force on the 9th January 2013. In particular, please note that an occupier of commercial property, where the premises are, "frequently visited by the public and where the total useful floor space of the whole building is more than 500 square metres" must display the EPC in a prominent area.

There is no definition in the 2012 EPC Regulations of what "frequently visited by the public" means but the FAQs in the 2012 DCLG guidance for EPCs for non-dwellings (page 35) define it (for that guidance) as being a building which the public has an implied or express licence to enter and which is regularly visited by members of the public on a daily or near daily basis. The guidance gives, as examples, shops and restaurants, and contrasts them with office blocks, factories and other commercial buildings. I'm afraid no guidance is given on whether access should be unrestricted, such that people who require an entry pass, or to sign in with the security guard, in order to access a building, cease to be members of the public.

  1. The Non-Domestic Rating (Small Business Rate Relief) (England) (Amendment) Order 2013 (SI 2013/15) has been made and comes into force on 11 February 2013. It extends the temporary increase in the level of small business rate relief in England for a further year, until 31 March 2014. It does not change the eligibility criteria for the increased relief. The increased relief was initially introduced for one year from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011. It provides 100% relief for eligible businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of not more than £6,000. There is a tapered relief from 100% to zero for properties with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000.