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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - ENERGY CERTIFICATES
Energy Performance Certificates were introduced in England and Wales in 2007, as part of the Home Information Packs for domestic properties. Now, a little after that date, they become obligatory in Spain from the 1st of June, 2013, with property owners becoming liable for ensuring their home is graded as per the rating from “A” through to “G”, relevant to the energy efficiency of the property.
Officially called the Certificado de Eficiencia Energética in Spain, or CEE, the property is given a standard rating based on energy efficiency and carbon emissions, with grade “A” indicating the most efficient property, whereas “G” is the least energy efficient.
The aim is to both raise awareness of how inefficient buildings effect the environment, as well as indicating how savings can be made in the home by adopting some minor changes or investments.
The certificate is mandatory for properties which are being sold or rented, and failure to provide the certificate can result in a fine of between 3,000 and 6,000 euro. As part of the property sale process, it will be standard practice for notaries to ask for the certificate, as it will also form part of their obligations.
The first question which needs answering is whether or not you will need a certificate. Well, if you have no intention of selling or renting your property, then you don´t need to worry too much as this stage, the primary focus is for those properties which are offered to buyers or tenants. In other words, if you intend to sell or rent your property, or if it is already on the market, then you WILL need the certificate, otherwise you will not be able to sell or rent your property. It really is that simple.
The second question is when is the certificate needed? The answer to that question is NOW. The legislation comes into force on the 1st of June and you will not be able to sell or rent your property without one. In fact, you won´t even be permitted to advertise your property for sale or rent without one. This isn´t something you can just ignore either. The process of selling or renting can only continue if you have the certificate in place.
The third most important question revolves around the issuing of the certificate. Because this is a government led initiative, with huge implications on both the environment and the economy, nobody can just go and buy a “do-it-yourself” kit, nor can just anybody set up in business providing the documents. Only certified and registered assessors are able to issue the certificate, these companies and people are regulated through the government scheme.
The fourth question you are likely to have is how often do you need to have the certificate issued, well the good news is that the certificates are valid for 10 years, so once you have it, you don´t have to panic at any frequency less than you would for your own passport.
Which brings us to the final question of holiday lets, a number of people are bound to wonder if they need a certificate if their property is only used for this purpose, either privately or through an agency, to which the answer is YES. Agencies will not be legally allowed to offer your property for rent without one and may face prosecutions if they do.
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