New government legislation that will require hotels, pubs and restaurants to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before they can be sold is already causing confusion, property experts have warned.
The law, set to come into force on October 1, will mean any property that is up for sale, or due to be put up for sale, will need to have an EPC certificate.
An EPC provides the energy rating for a building which is based on the performance potential of the building itself and its services such as heating, ventilation and lighting and is graded from A to G, much like fridges.
It falls upon the seller, and not the property agent, to make an EPC available to perspective letters or buyers, with those failing to obtain one being liable for a fine of between £500 and £5,000.
The timescale required to obtain a certificate is expected to be between seven and 10 days, depending on the availability of an assessor.
Assessors will collect information about the building including plans, dimensions of the building, its uses, the number of floors, the amount and type of the heating systems and the fuel used.
Darren Bond, head of valuation services at property agent Christie + Co, said the legislation was already causing confusion.
"We still don't know how many assessors there will be, and it is rumoured that there is a shortage of them," he told Caterersearch.
"In terms of us as sales agents, there is definitely a grey area when it comes to selling pubs as to whether or not we will demand the pub seller has an EPC. But we will endeavour to help them."
By Gemma Sharkey
E-mail your comments to Gemma Sharkey here.