The Government has announced Lettings/Estate Agents can begin to resume business. Staff will continue to be working remotely whilst we get staff and the office ready and “Covid 19 secure” and will be following the Government’s guidance as follows:

- We will be carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment and will share these results with the people employed at Pennington.

- We will be cleaning, handwashing and following hygiene procedures in line with Government guidance.

- We are taking all reasonable steps to help people work from home.

- We will be taking all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace.

- Where people cannot be 2m apart, we have done everything practical to manage transmission risk.

In the first instance all enquiries should be sent to info@pennington-online.co.uk, this email address is monitored during normal working hours and will be dealt with accordingly. Any maintenance should be reported via Fixflo. In an emergancy call 07474 342732, otherwise please call 07823 651832 or 07823 651890. We will look to re-open the office for appointments only, with the above measures in place subject to any further government advice around the 1st June 2020.

Support, Advice and Experience within the Property Market

Government Guidance on EPCs in Rented Property

From Robert Ulph on April 29, 2020

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came into effect two years ago and, among other changes, this meant that a landlord cannot grant a new tenancy with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) below an E rating.

An EPC gives an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and in addition to the changes introduced in 2018, from April 2020 all rented properties were due to have an efficiency rating of E or better. The EPC is valid for ten years and they are required whenever a property is built, sold or rented and must be completed by an accredited assessor.

The Government has now issued further guidance on what those requirements are in the current times we are living in. In recently released information they have confirmed that the legal requirement to obtain an EPC before letting (or selling) a property remains in place, but EPC assessments should only be conducted where they can be done safely and in line with guidance relating to Coronavirus.

Key points from the latest Government guidance on EPCs include:

  • Where possible delay the property transaction, and ultimately the EPC assessment until the stay-at-home measures to fight coronavirus are no longer in place.
  • If it is not possible to delay the transaction and assessment, and a valid EPC is not available from the EPC Register, an assessment may need to be carried out.
  • Where an EPC assessment needs to be carried out, the UK Government’s social distancing measures and guidance for carrying out work in people’s homes must be adhered to.
  • EPC assessments can continue where a property is empty.

Importantly, the UK Government’s guidance says that no EPC assessments should take place if any person in a property is showing symptoms of Coronavirus, self-isolating or being shielded.

For those with any booked EPC assessments, the appointment should be rescheduled, if it hasn’t been already, for when it is safe to do so, in accordance with the guidelines and for those with property being managed by agents this will be managed for you.

Everything obviously has to be done to avoid the spread of Coronavirus and these guidelines set that out very clearly.

As always, if you have any questions on these issues or anything in the local property market, please call me.

In the meantime, I wish you all the best to stay safe and well.