We would like to provide you with some key issues and answers to most of the questions arising from the recently introduced new Energy Efficiency Certificates.
In compliance with the EU Directive 2010/31/EU, the new law is regulated by the Royal Decree 235/2013 which has revoked the previous Royal Decree 47/2007.
- The Energy Efficiency Certificate is an official document which states the energy efficiency of a dwelling or building, and at the same time suggests possible improvements to make the building more energy efficient, and all of this with the aim of:
Helping to develop highly energy efficient buildings.
Promoting investment in energy saving.
Learning more about CO² emissions.
Helping buyers or tenants to evaluate and compare different building features.
- The new certificate will be compulsory from 1st June 2013 applying to:
Owners wishing to sell their properties.
Owners wishing to rent their properties for over four months of the year.
New off-plan developments.
- Therefore, when you advertise your property, you will be required to provide this certificate. As a consequence the Estate Agents selling or renting your property will need your certificate. Otherwise, they will not be legally allowed to offer your property for long term rent or sale. However, if your property is already rented, you do not need to provide your tenant with a certificate.
- There will be also an efficiency label which will have to be issued by your Autonomous Community. This label will have to be displayed on any advert made by your Estate Agent or any other sort of internet advert to sell or rent your property.
- Information about the energy efficiency will be shown both on certificates and labels using an A-G scale on a colour bar chart where is the most efficient and is the least.
- The certificate will have to be issued by a qualified professional matching the calculation method defined by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. They should be an architect, engineer, or a qualified technician.
- A certificate will not be required for properties under 50 square metres, however this does not apply if your property belongs to a group of properties, such as apartments within a building or a property attached to other properties.
- Owners and landlords will be the only liable person to request the certificates, and failure to comply will be at the owner risk.
- It will be compulsory for owners to register their certificates on the Regional Register for Efficiency Certificates in the Autonomous Region where your property is based. However, there is not a Register yet for most of the Autonomous Regions, and where there is one they are not yet ready to receive any certificates. The Autonomous Communities have been given three months to adapt to this new regulation, and although it is not certain, they are expected to charge a fee from the owner for putting the certificates on the Register.
- Your certificate will be valid for 10 years, and the owner will be liable to update or renew the certificate.
- There is no information at present for the Notary as to whether they are obligated to request certificates on completion, and therefore they are not currently needed to complete a sale. The Notary will not necessarily police this and it will be your responsibility if you fail to provide your purchaser with the certificate.
- The Autonomous Communities shall be responsible for certificates, inspection and control. They are expected to have a team of inspectors, but at present and, according to information from TINSA, there is only one region complying with this.
- Avoiding this new obligation will be regulated by the Consumers & Users Protection Law. The Consumer Protection Act is the most relevant Spanish law concerning consumer protection and covers the subjects included in the EU Regulation on injunctions for the protection of consumer interests. Spanish law grants consumers and users enhanced protection to deal with the imbalance between parties in relationships and contracts.
- Non-compliance with these obligations may result in an infringement, sanctioned with fines from 3,000 of up to 600,000.
- Owners selling a property will be obliged to hand over the original certificate on completion, and landlords will be obliged to show and hand a copy of the certificate to their tenants.
As this is all totally new we will have to wait for a while until the Autonomous Communities design the registers and their own regulations according to the Royal Decree 235/2013. The only certainty is that owners and landlords are obliged to request a certificate after 1st June, and failure to comply will be at their own risk.
The only way to be certain you are liable to this new obligation is to take professional advice from a firm like Corral&Alcaraz.