Property Services FAQs

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Property Services FAQs

Feel free to use our property service FAQs as a guide to all our property services!

What is an EPC?

An EPC is a document which states the energy efficiency of a building based on the standardised way that the building is used. Carbon dioxide (CO2) ratings are shown in bandings from A to G, with A being the least polluting.

The main focus of the certificate is the amount of CO2 which is estimated to be released from the building. The performance of the dwelling is benchmarked against current building standards and recommended cost effective improvements. The certificate must be fixed to the dwelling and will be valid for a period of 10 years.

Why have they been introduced?

The earth's natural resources such as oil products, natural gas and solid fuels are limited and steps must be taken to conserve these commodities. Scientific studies have indicated that these resources also generate emissions such as CO2, which are considered to have a direct contribution to global warming. Making a building more energy efficient through improvements in heating systems, insulation and air conditioning units will lead to a reduction in energy consumption and in CO2 emissions. Scotland, as part of the United Kingdom along with all other EU member states has an obligation under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) to promote improvement in the energy performance of new and existing buildings.

What information will be shown?

The Energy Performance Certificate should:
- Display an indication of current carbon dioxide emissions
- Provide an indication of potential emissions on an annual basis and also the potential energy use of the building
- Record a list of cost effective improvements

What should I do with the EPC?

It is the responsibility of the building owner to 'affix the certificate to the building' - this is a legal requirement. The EPC should be indelibly marked and located in a position that is readily accessible, protected from weather and not easily obscured. A suitable location could be in a cupboard containing the gas and electricity meter or the water supply stopcock.

When does an EPC have to be produced?

An EPC has to be produced for all properties which are sold or rented from 4 January 2009.

Who can produce an EPC?

In Scotland, there is no specified qualification for energy assessors. The Scottish Government has entered into protocol with professional organisations/institutions whose members already have an understanding of the building/energy sectors. Only members of protocol organisations may produce EPCs for existing buildings.

Do all tenants of rented properties require to have an EPC by the European Deadline of 4 January 2009?

No. All tenants who rent a property on or after 4 January 2009 must be provided with EPC (ie new tenancies). However, landlords would be advised to ensure that they have all of the information necessary to produce the EPC before this deadline.

What does the 'Energy Efficiency Rating' on the EPC mean?

This shows the energy efficiency of the dwelling at present (current) and the efficiency if the cost effective measures were implemented in future (potential). This is based on the information about the dwelling not the way in which it is used.

What does the Environmental Impact (CO2) rating on the EPC show?

This shows the amount of CO2 emissions from the dwelling at present (current) and the emissions in future (potential) if the cost effective measures were introduced.

Do I have to carry out the 'cost effective improvements'?

No, but you may wish to give serious consideration to these possible improvements as not only will they reduce the carbon emissions generated and the energy used, but they could also save you money.

When should an EPC be updated?

An individual EPC will only be valid for a period of ten years. If major works were to be undertaken during this period, building owners may choose to update the certificate, however, this is not mandatory.

Do I have to update the EPC after 10 years?

No. Only if you sell or rent out the property after the 10 year period. The same EPC can be passed to subsequent tenants if it has been produced by a member of a protocol organisation within this 10 year period.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

An EPC is a document which states the energy efficiency of a building based on the standardized way that the building is used. Carbon dioxide (CO2) ratings are shown in bandings from A to G, with A being the least polluting.
The Energy Performance Certificate should:
- Display an indication of current carbon dioxide emissions
- Provide an indication of potential emissions on an annual basis and the potential energy use of the building
- Record a list of cost-effective improvement

What type of properties are effected?

Many types of property come under this legislation, the main ones being: Office, Retail, Industrial units, Hotels even residential properties converted for commercial use.

How long is the Commercial EPC valid for?

A Commercial EPC will remain valid for 10 years unless major modifications are made to the building. More information can be found on the Scottish government website, but if in doubt please contact us, we are here to help.

How soon do I need to supply a Commercial EPC?

As of the 4th January 2009, any commercial or industrial property being sold or changing leaseholder will require a Commercial EPC usually prior to being advertised.

How much will a Commercial EPC cost?

The cost associated with the creation of an EPC for commercial and industrial properties is difficult to quantify due to the nature of the construction, the complexity, size of the building and the potential complexity of the heating/cooling systems involved.

The price will be greatly effected by the quantity and quality of the information provided to us (drawings, floor plans). The more information you can provide to us, the cheaper your Commercial EPC will be.

Are there any given instances where an EPC will not be required?

An EPC is not required in the following situations:

- Places of worship
- Temporary buildings with a planned time of use less than two years
- Stand alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m2 that are not dwellings
- Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand

EPCs are not required on sale or rent for any buildings due to be demolished in the near future.

What is the penalty charge if I do not acquire an EPC?

In most cases, the penalty charge will be 12.5 per cent of the rateable value of the building with a default penalty of £750 where the formula cannot be applied. The range of penalties under this formula are set with a minimum of £500 and capped at a maximum of £5,000.

For further information on Commercial Energy Performance Certificates and other environmental issues, visit:-

Do I need an EPC?

Everyone selling or renting out a property in Scotland needs an EPC. This has been compulsory since 9th January 2013, so it is illegal to sell or rent property without one.
This applies to both domestic and commercial properties, so it applies to offices, retail and industrial units, hotels and even residential properties converted for commercial use.
Examples of when an EPC is not required are:
• Places of worship
• Temporary buildings with a planned time of less than 2 years
• Stand-alone buildings that are not dwellings with less than 50m2 of total useful floor area
• Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand.

What is Legionnella?

Legionella is a form of bacteria commonly found in water systems such as water tanks, pipes and air conditioning units. By inhaling small droplets of water containing this bacteria it can cause Legionnaires’ Disease.

How do people get Legionnaires' disease?

People contract Legionnaires' disease by inhaling small droplets of water (aerosols), suspended in the air, containing the bacteria.

I am a landlord, do I need a Legionella Risk Assessment carried out?

Landlords must comply with the new regulations. In addition, they have a legal duty to ensure that their tenants and others visiting the property are protected.

What is the purpose of a Legionella Risk Assessment?

The purpose of the Risk Assessment is to identify any risks in your water system. The competent person undertaking the assessment should be able to establish whether there are any risks of exposure to legionella.

What should the Assessment include?

Your Legionella Risk Assessment should include:-

- management responsibilities, including the name of the competent person and a description of your system
- competence and training of key personnel
- any identified potential risk sources
- any means of preventing the risk or controls in place to control risks
- monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures
- records of the monitoring results and inspection and checks carried out
- arrangements to review the risk assessment regularly, particularly when there is reason to suspect it is no longer valid

Who can undertake the Risk Assessment?

The legislation states that the Risk Assessment must be carried out by a "competent person", someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety, including the control measures.

Landlords can carry out the assessment themselves if they believe they are competent to do so, or they can instruct a specialist contractor to carry out the work.

You the landlord are fully responsible and liable to ensure the risk of legionella in your property is assessed & controlled. The Risk assessment must be carried out by a fully trained and competent person with the necessary skills & professional indemnity cover to protect you. If you carry out your own risk assessment and/or employ someone who is not trained to provide one, it is only you who will face prosecution in the event of an outbreak at your property. Protect yourself.

Where can I find out more about Legionella?

The Health and Safety executive have issued a guide on their website. It can be found via the following link:-

How do you test for Legionella?

We test water and other environmental samples for the presence of Legionella bacteria and other waterborne pathogens commonly found in engineered water systems. Our tests are performed onsite using a testing kit.

What is legionella?

Legionella is a form of bacteria commonly found in water systems such as water tanks, pipes and air conditioning units. By inhaling small droplets of water containing this bacteria it can cause Legionnaires’ Disease.

How long does Rapid Legionella Onsite Testing take?

Energy Cert Scotland provide rapid onsite leg ionelal testing with results in a matter of hours. Our legionella rapid testing method successfully detects Legionella genus on site, and provides results as quickly as possible!

What does EICR mean?

EICR, or Electrical Installation Conditioning Report, is a test to check the safety of electrical installations. approved electricians must carry out these tests to ensure the condition of electrical installations meet industry safety standards.

What happens if I pass or fail an EICR test

A passed report means the electrical installation can continue to be used.

If faults are found within the electrical system these faults must be listed on the EICR report, explaining why that electrical system failed, along with a grade which specifies the severity of the fault as follows:

C1 = ‘Danger is present’, risk of injury is likely and IMMEDIATE action is required.
C2 = POTENTIALLY dangerous and remedial action is needed urgently.
C3 = improvement to your electrical system is recommended but not required. This is the only code that can appear on a report and have it still pass the EICR test.

Do I need a Electrical Installation Conditioning Report?

EICRs are not legally required, however, in the case of an accident you are required to make sure your electrical systems are safe. For example as a landlord, you must prove you did everything within your power to prevent an accident to keep yourself safe from legislation

How often do I need an EICR?

How often you need an EICR depends on what kind of property you have.

A privately owned house– Every 10 Years,
For Landlords with a rented home – Every 5 Years,
A Caravan – Every 3 Years,
A Swimming Pool – Every Year.

Do I need to shut down power for an EICR test?

short power outages can be expected on circuit when it is being tested, but most EICR testing is done while the system is live. At Energy Cert Scotland we plan EICR tests around your schedule to minimize disruption.

How long do EICR tests take?

Our Accredited assessors will complete your EICR test as quick as we can, but testing time will vary on size of electrical system we are testing. Typically a EICR test will take around an hour and a half

Who can provide an EICR?

An Electrical Installation Condition Report – or EICR – should be carried out by fully qualified and fully insured electricians. At Energy Cert Scotland our electricians are further trained to City & Guilds Inspection and Testing level.

How much does smoke alarm fitting cost?

The cost of smoke alarm fitting will depend on your property, but uur standard package includes x2 smoke alarms x1 heat detector at £235.
It is cheaper if you purchase smoke alarm fitting along with other services as a bundle

How long do smoke alarms last before needing replacement?

At Energy Cert Scotland we recommend that smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. This is because the sensors in the smoke alarms become less sensitive and may not activate when a fire is present.

Do I need an ionisation smoke alarm or an optical (photoelectrical) smoke alarm?

Ionisation smoke alarms detect fast flaming fires and are suitable for landings. Optical smoke alarms detect slow smouldering fires typical for burning soft furnishings. Optical alarms are suitable for living rooms and sleeping areas and are used near kitchens as they are less prone to false alarms. Please note that ionisation alarms contain a small amount of radioactivity.

Do you need an electrician to connect mains powered smoke alarms?

It is necessary that an electrician installs mains powered smoke alarms.

What is the difference between a "CP12 Gas Safety Certificate" and "Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate"?

These both refer to Gas safety records. "CP12 Gas Safety Certificate" is an older term used by gas engineers who under the previous CORGI scheme in 2009. The newer term used is "Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate".

What is central heating powerflushing?

Powerflush cleans your boiler to removes dirt, sludge, rust, and debris that has gathered inside your central heating system over time. If left within your heating system, they could cause blockages or corrosion and reduce the efficiency of your central heating.

What are the benefits of getting Powerflushing?

There are plenty of benefits of getting a Powerflush. These include:

Enhanced energy-efficiency
Improved system reliability
Potentially lower energy bills*
Reduced likeliness of boiler breakdown
Could increase system lifespan
Radiators can warm up quicker
Better quality of heating and hot water
Reduced noise from boiler and radiators

When should I powerflush my central heating system?

Powerflushing is required when the system is heavily contaminated. This can be caused by a number of factors including incorrect installation, the system not been thoroughly cleansed before installation or bacterial growth.

If you’re getting a new boiler installed, the building regulations recommend that a suitable cleanse is carried out prior to the installation. This can vary from a simple system flush with clean water to a powerful Powerflush on more contaminated systems. This helps to prevent your new system from being contaminated and inhibited by the sludge and debris that was present in your old one.

How often do I need a Fire risk assessment

There are no specific time periods in law for how often fire risk assessments must be carried out or reviewed. The law simply says that the person responsible for the assessment in your building must review it 'regularly' to make sure it's up to date. At Energy Cert Scotland we recommend your fire risk assessment is reviewed every 2 years

What are the legal requirements for Fire Risk Assessments

A Fire Risk Assessment is a legal requirement. If you are responsible for a building as an employer, owner or occupier of premises you need to make sure a suitably competent person completes a Fire Risk Assessment. Energy Cert Scotland can provide certified assessors for fire risk assessments for domestic and commercial properties

How much does a Fire Risk Assessment cost?

When requesting quotations for a fire risk assessment, you will find that you will be quoted anything between £200 and £900 for a low-level priced premises. Energy Cert Scotland can provide an exact quote for your fire risk assessment across Scotland.

What is involved with a fire risk assessment

Fire risk assessments examine fire detection systems, emergency exits and routes (including evacuation plans), firefighting equipment and the availability of information and advice to the building's occupants in order to certain the risk of fire in your domestic or commercial property. The output is a Fire Risk assessment report for your property

Are Asbestos Surveys legally required for commercial or domestic buildings?

Asbestos surveys are required by law, because of the high risks that asbestos materials present when they are found in buildings. Energy Cert Scotland can provide certified assessors for both kinds of Asbestos Surveys across Scotland.

What types of Asbestos Survey are there?

There are two types of asbestos survey:
2. Refurbishment and Demolition Asbestos Survey
Some building may require one type of asbestos survey, the other, or both. It depends on the use of the building and the work planned. Energy Cert Scotland can advise which type of Asbestos survey you require for your building

Does my building need an asbestos survey?

Asbestos was used in UK construction from the early 1900s. It was used extensively in building materials in the 50s 60s 70s and 80s and wasn't banned in the UK until 1999. If your building was built in that period, any building built or refurbished within that period is likely to contain asbestos and you may require an asbestos survey by our certified asbestos surveyors.

How much does it cost to install a new gas boiler?

The price of gas boiler fitting varies depending on the boiler and your property and heating system. Energy Cert Scotland can provide an exact quote for your boiler fitting service depending on your postcode, property and selected boiler, just get in touch with our gas-safe accredited gas engineers for a quote.

How long does it take to install a boiler?

n average, a new boiler installation can take between 1-3 days depending on the complexity of the job but most boilers will be replaced in a day's appointment.

Should I repair or replace my boiler?

If your boiler is on the floor rather than on the wall, it is likely to be older and much less energy-efficient. In this situation, it's a good idea to consider a replacement boiler. If your boiler is G-rated for energy efficiency it's a good idea to replace it. Also if your boiler is passed a certain age it may be more economical to replace than keep replacing parts. Our gas-safe boiler engineers will advise you on the best course of action for your broken boiler.