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The energy certificate


 


This is, of course, a contribution to the development of the quality level of the real estate industry. Processes are more and more regulated and brokers are monitored and controlled on various aspects of the sales process for the property they have in their portfolio and have sold. The introduction of the mandatory energy certificate and the verification thereof to the brokers is one example of this.

 


An energy certificate (also called an energy performance certificate or EPC), is a document that is drawn up by a recognized energy expert by means of findings, assumptions, and supporting documents. The data retrieved from these documents is then entered into a software program, after which the energy score is calculated on the basis of the entered data.


The purpose of an energy performance certificate is to be able to compare the homes on the rental and housing market in terms of energy performance, to make buyers and tenants aware of the energy efficiency of a home as well as the options for making the home more energy-efficient.


All in all, good developments, though with very high penalties for non-compliance. For example, in Portugal, every owner is obliged to have an energy certificate for his or her home, when he/she decides to put it up for sale. By default, it is stated in the mediation contract (CMI)  in Portugal that the seller agrees to comply with all laws and regulations arising from the law (Law 118, adopted on August 20, 2013). By signing the mediation contract (CMI) the seller agrees to the obligation to deliver an energy certificate for his property within the conditions and deadlines determined by law, with the payment of fines of € 250 to € 3,470 per property. A heavy fine for missing out on a document when selling your home. 


Before August 20, 2013, it was only mandatory to hand over the energy certificate to the buyer at the time of the deed. Since August 20, 2013, it is mandatory to have the energy certificate already in possession at the time of offering your house for sale. This is not always known to homeowners, and therefore a very important topic for every realtor in Portugal when starting a listing process.


Since it is mandatory for sellers to draw up an energy certificate, this stricter regulation means that more preliminary work is needed. Together with the real estate agent, before the home can be placed for sale the energy certificate has to be drawn up. The advantage for buyers is that more and more information becomes available, making the purchasing process more transparent.


Anyone who thinks that the job of a real estate agent is limited to taking photos, placing the property online, and finding the buyer, is wrong. In recent years, the responsibility of real estate agents regarding the realization of housing transactions has increased. In regards to the mandatory energy certificate, this shows. Each agent is obliged to only offer homes for sale that have an energy certificate (or a temporary energy certificate in the case of new-build homes that are still under construction) or a statement that there is an exclusion from these regulations, for ruins for example. Without an energy certificate, a property may not be offered on a broker's website, it may not be placed in the windows of the broker's office, and not complying with this law can result in a penalty of a fine of € 2,500 to € 44,890 per home (!!) Yes, that is right, a fine starting from two thousand five hundred euros per home for failure to comply with these regulations. Sky-high fines, so brokers cannot make exceptions.

 

It is for the protection of the seller and the real estate agent that homeowners are required to provide an energy certificate before the property goes up for sale. Where in the past it sometimes happened that a house was already placed online when the energy certificate was applied for, the rules are tightened, and this is therefore no longer possible.


The regulatory body also carries out checks on this. As a result; all properties listed for sale have to have an energy certificate. Only those who, by law, are exempt can still be listed without having an energy certificate.