Are you considering renting out your apartment? Then there is some paperwork involved, and the energy performance certifcate (or EPC) is definitely one of the items you need to take care of. ShBarcelona will tell you all you need to know about the energy performance certificate, so you will be able to obey all the rules and regulations when renting out your apartment.
Don’t forget that you must issue the certificate before renting out your property, as this is required from the very first second once you have started the rental process. If you are keen to learn how to get this energy performance certificate, and what properties are exempt from it, then keep on reading!
Table of Contents
What is an energy performance certificate, and what is it for?
The document is a certified paper that states the energy consumption level of the property. It provides buyers and tenants with information on the energy costs of a property. In order to obtain the certificate for your rental property, certain elements of the property will be inspected, like the insulation, comfort conditions, occupancy, and the quality of the interior.
The document lists all energy aspects of a property, and rates them accordingly which then leads to a certain level or category. Many details lead to a rating, like the amount of carbon dioxide that it emits, the annual consumption of energy, the usable surface area within the property, characteristics of the construction and its appliances.
Who is requesting this certificate?
The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism is requiring this energy performance certificate for every property that will be rented out, and this is to comply with EU plans on energy reduction.
How to obtain the energy performance certificate
In order to arrange this document, you must contact a company that is specialized in issuing it. According to the Real Decreto 235/2013 of April 5th, the person who issues the certificate must be qualified in the area of building and construction works, like an architect or technical engineer is.
Costs and expiration dates
After the inspection has taken place, you normally receive the energy performance certificate within three working days. The certificate is then valid for the next 10 years, and after that you will need a new energy performance certificate. You can also apply for a new one if you have carried out renovation works that you expect to affect the outcome of the certificate.
It all depends on the company you contract for the assessment what price you pay for the certificate, as prices have not been regulated by the government. Ask for several quotations with different companies, and choose the one that meets your property’s needs. The minimum price in Barcelona for this certificate is 45 euros, plus VAT and administrative registration fees.
If your energy performance certificate gets an A status, then you will be exempt from paying the administrative fees in Catalonia. If the certificate scores a B label, you will get a 50% discount on these fees.
What properties don’t need an energy performance certificate?
If you are selling or renting out your property, then you need the certificate in 90% of all cases. According to Real Decreto 235/2013, however, there are some exceptions:
- If the property has a usable surface area of less than 50 square meters, and it is located in an isolated area.
- If the property will be demolished or is subject to extreme renovation works.
- If the rental property is only rented out for a maximum of 16 weeks (4 months) per year.
- If it concerns an industrial building that will be used as a workshop or with similar activities.
- If it is a religious building or historical monument.
What are the consequences of not having an EPC?
If your property doesn’t fit one of the above mentioned exceptions, then you must be in the possession of an energy performance certificate for your property. If you don’t, if it’s not valid anymore, or if you have changed the data on your EPC, then you can be in serious trouble.
According to the Ley 8/2013 of June 26th, on urban redevelopment, restoration and renovation, fines between 300 and 6,000 euros may be imposed on those who fail to obey the law. You’d better complete your paperwork and get the EPC before you start with the proces of renting out your apartment.
Level of the fines
Small fines: 300 to 600 euros
These are the most occurring violations:
- Advertising an apartment that is for sale or rent without including the EPC.
- Not having a valid EPC at the time of selling or renting out your apartment.
Large fines: from 601 to 1,000 euros
- Not registering the EPC with the relevant authorities. In Barcelona it is normally the technical engineer who is responsible for producing and registering the certificate, but it is good to know that the administrative institute where the EPC is registered is called the Instituto Catalán de Energía (ICAEN).
- Not being able to provide the EPC when selling or renting out the apartment.
Very large fines: from 1,001 to 6,000 euros
- Falsifying data on the certificate.
- Mentioning an incorrect energy label during the sales process.
- Having an EPC issued by a professional that is not officially authorized to do so.
What ratings does an EPC have?
The rating of the certificate states the energy efficiency of your rental apartment, and the rating is shown on the label or certificate. The scale of energy performance labels runs from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G lacking energy efficiency measures.
- Letter A – dark green – maximum energy efficiency
- Letter B – light green – high energy efficiency
- Letter C – yellowish green – good energy efficiency
- Letter D – yellow – normal energy efficiency
- Letter E – light orange – low energy efficiency
- Letter F – dark orange – very low energy efficiency
- Letter G – bright red – no energy efficiency
We hope we have answered most of your questions and taken away any doubts you might have had on the energy performance certificate. If you are ready to rent out your apartment, be sure to make use of a real estate agency you trust with all the paperwork. This is the only way to avoid problems and work with current rules and regulations.
Do you have other interesting facts on the EPC for rental properties?
Share your information in the comment section below!