Agents versus Portals; more confusion over EPC regulations

Posted: 18/04/2012

Property Portals such as Rightmove are claiming that they do not need to add the first page of the EPC to their written particulars because they are in fact, advertisements. According to the guidance published by the Government, adverts such as those in newspapers and estate agents windows are exempt from having to show the first page of the EPC. Property portals have decided to class their websites as a place to advertise properties, therefore, they don’t have any written particulars that require the front page of an EPC.

Estate agents are not pleased with this news because they still have to add the first page of an EPC to the adverts on their websites and can’t understand how property portals are getting away with avoiding this regulation. Unfortunately, there appears no satisfactory answer as to why the government are letting property portals get away with this but not agents websites.

Bushells’ boss Eric Walker wrote to the Government asking for clarification of the regulations and aired his beliefs, ‘I see no exemption in the regulations and seek confirmation as to why the two means of providing electronic particulars differ.’

The reply that Mr Walker received from the Government read, ‘Where a property or letting agent intends to make more detailed information about a building available, either on their own website or another property portal, and the information provided meets the definition of written particulars, then an EPC must be provided with those details.’

So far, the changes to the EPC regulations have caused a lot of frustration and confusion for property agents. The advice that Mr Walker received contradicts the guidance and Q&A that was published by the Government. The guidance states that the requirement to attach the front page of an EPC to written particulars applies online. It continues to say that the intention of this is to ‘ensure that prospective buyers and tenants see the key recommendations attached to the EPC’.

What are your thoughts about the EPC regulations relating to advertisements and written particulars?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(0) Comments property, government, changes, regulations, EPC

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