Even though some property transactions have slowed down during this pandemic, some transactions are still going ahead with people wanting to secure a new property to occupy after the pandemic.
Nevertheless, the enquiry stage of the transaction (the stage in which the buyer’s solicitors raise enquires and the seller’s solicitors provide the relevant information or an indemnity policy in the absence of it), has proven tricky with the adherence to socially distancing. One thing that has proven more difficult to arrange is an up to date Energy Performance Certificate (‘EPC’).
An EPC is a document that rates the energy efficiency of each building in England and Wales (from A-G). It is a legal requirement that each property being sold has an up to date EPC. Consequently, the government have advised that EPC assessments can only safely take place if the property is vacant. If the property is occupied, then an EPC assessment should be delayed. There is a possibility that other safety measures could be taken e.g. wearing protective clothing and masks. However, it would be wise to wait, as there may be additional reassurances (e.g. the need for documents to be signed confirming that the property has not been inhabited by someone suffering from Covid-19) that may need to be given to the EPC assessor.
Please feel free to contact Lawdit’s Property Team for more information regarding selling or buying a property during Covid-19.