Under new legislation coming into force at the beginning of the 2008/09 tax year, owners of commercial property will need a valid EPC which will then have to be produced on the construction, sale or rental of the premises.
This action comes in reponse to widespread concern that there would not be enough energy assessors trained up in time for the deadline.
The government concession means that sellers and landlords will not incur an immediate penalty fine in the event that they cannot produce an EPC, as long as it has been commissioned at least 14 days prior to this.
The EPC must be then made available to the buyer/tenant as soon as it has been completed by the relevant energy assessor.
Failure to comply with this new legislation, in whatever shape or form, could incur penalty fees of up to £5,000.
Andy Green, real estate partner at tax firm DWF said: “There has been concern that a lack of commercial energy assessors could cause significant delays to property transactions.
“It is good news that sellers and landlords will not be penalised for something which is beyond their control. These concessions will allow commercial property transactions to go ahead without unnecessary delay.”
There is also an exception for situations where a prospective tenant is seeking to rent the building due to an emergency relocation.