Sellers of utility buildings fined

The first fines on account of the sale of a utility building without the mandatory energy label have been imposed, the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport - ILT) recently stated on its website. In the spring of 2016 the ILT had already announced inspections within this sector and in July and August 2016 transactions were examined. So far, it concerns 23 sellers who have sold at least five buildings with designated uses as catering establishment, office buildings, healthcare and shops – i.e. with high energy use – without a label. The fines were imposed with respect to the biggest buildings, with the highest fine amounting to over 10,000 euros.

Private sellers of buildings have been sent a demand

To the best of our knowledge private persons have not been fined yet. The ILT did, however, previously state on its website that it was sending owners who sell a house without an energy label a letter drawing their attention to the mandatory energy label and informing them of the option of arranging one within six weeks through the www.energielabelvoorwoningen.nl website and of the possible imposition of a recurring fine. During the first quarter of 2016 five thousand persons selling a house received such a letter.

Check existence of energy labels with Netherlands Enterprise Agency

In its investigation of whether or not there is a definitive energy label for a building, the ILT makes use of the information from the Land Registry and from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland - RVO). The RVO compares its registration of the energy labels with the information from the Land Registry. This results in a list of sold buildings in respect of which there is no definitive label. This list is then submitted to the ILT. You can find out whether or not your building already has an energy label at www.ep-online.nl/ep-online.

We do not know if and, if so, in which manner the ILT verifies whether or not the other requirements of the Energy Performance (Buildings) Decree – discussed in more detail in our newsletter 29 of 22 February 2016 and newsletter 27 of 10 July 2015 – are complied with. Since the entry into force of Article 120b of the Housing Act on 01 July 2015, the ILT may impose an administrative fine for non-compliance with the requirements of that decree on natural persons, with the fine amounting to no more than EUR 405, and on legal persons, with a maximum fine of EUR 20,250, per sold property.