Selling your property
When selling your property there are two types of certificates we are involved with:
- an energy performance certificate (EPC) - shows potential buyers and tenants how energy efficient the building is using an 'A' to 'G' rating
- a local authority property certificate - contains relevant information on a property within our council area as required by a conveyancing solicitor
Energy Performance Certificates
All properties being built, sold or rented must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
An EPC is required even if there is no heating system or services at that time, such as in commercial retail shell units or incomplete dwellings.
We enforce the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations (NI) and can investigate if an EPC is not shown to a prospective tenant or buyer.
Not having an EPC could lead to enforcement action being taken by us if an EPC is not shown to a prospective tenant or buyer. We can issue of a penalty charge notice of up to £200 (dwellings) and £500 - £5,000 (for any other property).
What is an Energy Performing Certificate?
- it shows potential buyers and tenants how energy efficient the building is using an 'A' to 'G' rating
- it contains information on potential energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions using a coloured chart
- 'A' means the building is very efficient and is coloured green on the chart. 'G' means it is inefficient and is coloured red on the chart
- it is valid for 10 years
- it can only be produced by an accredited energy assessor who will visit the property to carry out an assessment
- it should be renewed if you carry out any major refurbishment or building work that could change the energy efficiency rating of the property
- it costs about £100 for the average home in Northern Ireland. For other properties, the cost depends on the size and complexity of the building
Properties with a higher rating are likely to have lower fuel bills.
Who needs an EPC?
Anyone who is selling, renting out or constructing a building will need an EPC for that property.
Estate or letting agents must also display the energy indicator on any materials they use to market a property for sale or rent.
You are not required to produce an EPC if you are:
- not selling or renting your property
- renting your property and both parties signed a contract before 30 December 2008
- selling your property and the buyer intends to demolish it
The following buildings are exempt and do not require an EPC:
- places of worship
- stand-alone buildings of less than 50 square metres (except for dwellings)
- temporary buildings
Who is responsible for getting the certificate?
The responsible person depends on the situation:
- if a building is being sold, the owner of the property is responsible to have the EPC provided
- if a building is being rented, the landlord of the property is responsible
- if a building is being constructed, the builder is responsible
How do I get an EPC?
You can only get an EPC from an accredited energy assessor who will visit your property to complete the energy assessment of the building.
Don't forget to ask for photographic identification before letting anyone into your property.
If you have any queries about EPCs, please phone us on 028 9244 7300 or freephone 0800 022 3004.
Building Control provides this service for homeowners or their legal representatives to apply for information we hold with regard to applications about the property or land within the Lisburn and Castlereagh area. This is required by conveyancing solicitors for property sales and has been developed in partnership with the Law Society NI.
Property certificates contain information on:
- building regulation applications and any contravention notices
- public health and smoke control matters
- dangerous structure notices
- licencing matters
- address confirmation
- countryside matters
Customers have a choice of four property certificate types:
Standard 10 Year Search (£90)
This certificate provides information for 10 years from the 1st January of the year in which the enquiry was made.
Full search (£122)
This is the most comprehensive certificate relating to all information held by us on any property dating back to 1973.
Follow up search (£38)
A certificate designed to follow on from a standard 10 year search. This updates the information back to 1st October 1973.
Specified search (£90)
Building Control offer this certificate choice to accommodate land transfer and to provide information if you know the dates of alterations to property.
Requesting a certificate
Applications for a property certificate are normally made by a conveyancing solicitor on your behalf but anyone can make an application for property details that they have a legal interest in.
A completed application form along with a suitably marked up location map and the appropriate fee is required.
Where possible, we will attempt to provide current and historic information in accordance with the relevant legislation including the Freedom of Information Act and General Data Protection Regulations and our agreed Non Statutory Charging Scheme.