All those interested in real estate are likely to be aware of the regulations relating to Energy Performance Certificates (EPC's). These have to be produced on the sale or letting of a building. The obligation to provide these falls on the seller or the landlord of the building. Experience tends to suggest that the seller/landlord of a commercial building knows he has to provide an EPC but he does not try too hard to produce it before he starts to market the building and the emphasis tends to be to obtain it before exchanging contracts on the transaction rather than at a much earlier time.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced that it proposes to make some changes to the current regulations so that in future – likely to be from 1 July 2011 - the obligation to commission an EPC arises before marketing commences, whether the property is residential or commercial.

The selling agent must be satisfied that the EPC has been commissioned and Trading Standards Officers will be entitled to require the selling agent to prove that an EPC has been commissioned before marketing starts.

In addition as from 1 October 2011 (as currently estimated) DCLG intends to require that a copy of the EPC  be attached to written particulars  (and not just the asset rating specified in those particulars) whether the building is residential or commercial.