Despite what anyone in government ever says, there will be more rules and regs to comply with come April.
One you need to know about, if you decide to put your business on the market, is an energy performance certificate (EPC).
I became aware of this after two retailers contacted me to complain about business transfer agents RTA, which had written to both to say they needed an EPC, or RTA would cancel their agreement with a penalty fee of £500.
Both Mohammad Ali, Woodcote Way Post Office, and Kapur Dholliwar, Maya’s Superstore, Cwmbach, Aberdare, expressed disbelief that they were still in contracts with RTA in the first place.
To find out more about EPCs, I contacted Christie & Co, which confirmed that it will become necessary later this year. If you have a look at Christie’s website - www.christie.com/selling_a_business/epc - you will see that EPCs come into force on April 6, 2012.
The proposed changes include a requirement to commission an EPC prior to commencing marketing, falling on both the person selling/letting and their agent to obtain the EPC within seven days of first marketing the property and an absolute requirement to obtain the EPC within a further 21 days.
There is also a requirement for air-conditioning inspection reports to be undertaken and lodged on a central register.
Darren Bond, director & head of valuation services at Christie’s, said: “EPCs are produced by accredited energy assessors, and for commercial properties are valid for 10 years, or until a newer EPC is prepared.
“Enforcement will be undertaken by Trading Standards. In most cases, the penalty charge for failure to produce an EPC will be 12.5% of the rateable value of the property, subject to a minimum penalty of £500 and a max of £5,000.”