The energy certificate: What is it? How much will it cost? How will it affect the rental market?

From the 1st June onwards, an owner who wishes to sell or rent his property will need to have an energy certificate for it in order to know how efficient it is from the point of view of the energy saving. A classification already followed by home appliances and that ranges from A, for the home that saves more energy, to G, the most inefficient one.

It has not come into force yet and the Organization for Consumers and Users (OCU) already criticises that the authorities impose on individuals the obligation of obtaining an energy certificate when selling or renting properties that will mean a cost of an average 250 Euros per property. However, David Caraballo, commercial director of Alquiler Seguro, reminds that it is a norm which is in force in Europe and therefore “intends to coincide with our European partners”.

In this sense, “at Alquiler Seguro we are already providing this certificate, as it will necessary both to rent and to advertise a property on sale”. As reminded by those at the real estate website Pisos.com “the label will be included in any offer, promotion or advertisement for the sale or lease of a property, clarifying it is compulsory to have the certificate in order to advertise the property, either in the shop window of any branch or in the website. As the disciplinary regulations are still being processed and many regions do not have an official registry or a team of inspectors, it is very probable that there will still be no penalties starting from June 1st.

However, once the transition period has passed, the possession of a certificate will be essential, not only to advertise the property, but in order to sign deeds of sale or the rental agreement, as the new owner or tenant can press charges against the seller or the landlord if they do not have the certificate.

Carlos Ruiz, manager at Arrenta, thinks it will be very difficult to control the implementation of the energy certificate in all rented properties, as the agreements are signed between individuals. He also reminds that the black market in Spain will make it probable that owners or landlords do not have it especially if they need to pay between 150 and 200 Euros, depending on the size of the property.

The energy certificate, which will have a validity of ten years, will only be requested for those properties that are put on sale or for rent from the 1st June onwards and not to those which are already rented.

Carlos Ruiz and David Caraballo do not think the classification of the energy certificate will be determining when renting a property. “The price, the location”, will continue to be the key factors when deciding for one property or another.

Even though Caraballo does think that it will help to have access to subsidies for rentals, as in order to receive them, the bond needs to be deposited at the corresponding organism and the property needs to have a certificate.

Miguel Angel Alemany, director of pisos.com, believes that “when a tenant looks for a property, they do not only look at the rent it will have to pay every month, they also take into account different added costs such as the neighborhood association fee or the supplies. The energy certificate plays an important role in this last aspect. In order to avoid an excessively high electricity bill, we all try to consume as little as we can, using energy-saving bulbs, but the problem can be within the house”.

Alemany also thinks that “it can be received with some rejection”, but he does not think the offer of rented properties will decrease abruptly from June 1st. “We think that the cost of the certificate will have an effect on the rent somehow, increasing the monthly rent or trying to convince the tenant to pay for some other costs, such as the neighborhood association fee or the garbage fee.

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