Huge fines loom over energy efficiency certificates

Huge fines loom over energy efficiency certificates

From December 1 anyone selling or renting a property must have an energy efficiency certificate. If they don’t, they risk startling new fines, ranging from €250 to a whopping €45,000.

As the Algarve Resident newspaper reported in the November 8 edition, private individuals who do not equip themselves according to the new law will be subject to fines of up to €3,740 while agencies could be forced to pay anything from €2,500 to the eye-watering €45,000.

The law, which was passed in August, has not surprisingly been causing a sense of uneasiness throughout the property market.

The compulsory “Sistema de Certificação Energética dos Edifícios, or SCE, valid for 10 years, summarises the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A+ (top rating) to G (the lowest/worst rating). It also gives a list of recommendations on how people can improve the property’s energy consumption. The certificate costs anything from €200 to obtain, and before this law was passed, properties only needed it on the point of sale. In other words, if sellers didn’t have a buyer, they didn’t need to run to this extra expense.

Now, they have to organise certification as soon as they enter the property or indeed rental market – irrespective of whether they are profiting in any way or not.

Luís Lima, president of APEMIP (the estate agents’ association), told Rádio Renascença: “This really is not the best time for such a measure. Companies are trying to comply with the timescale but it’s not easy – particularly with regard to owners who are renting their homes. It’s an exaggeration to ask anyone for an energy certificate for a property that they have for rent for €300-400 per month, without any idea if they can actually succeed in renting it.”

In the Algarve, estate agents remain sanguine. Paul Greenhalgh from Yellow Homes real estate advisory business told the Algarve Resident that the new regulation will mean “some extra-work earlier in the process”. “It won’t affect our job too much,” he assured, while Zoie Hawker of the recently-opened Carvoeiro real estate firm, Fine and Country considered some agents with thousands of properties on their books going back over time will “have a mammoth task on their hands”.