Update 31 May: This comes into force tomorrow, and it seems that hardly anyone is prepared for it. Even notaries seem unaware: I was told yesterday that one advised an enquirer that it only applied to newbuild properties. With such misinformation and confusion around, please look for yourselves at the links below, which are government links, including one to the actual new law, which comes into force tomorrow, 1 June 2013.
Given the questions I’ve been having, I think it needs to be clarified that it is the legal responsibility of owners – no-one else – to acquire the certificates. Evidently the best agents will advise, and even help obtain the certificates, but it is the owner’s responsibility, and there is no legal onus on the agent even if a property is advertised without a “label”, or with an incorrect one. What agents are required by law to do is advise owners of their own legal obligations, and place the “label” that they are supplied with on the advert.
Clearly the “owners” of a new build are the promoters, and they have been providing these certificates since 2007. With all resale properties, however, it is for the owner to arrange. The certificate also has to be registered: it is the responsibility of the owner to do this but the registration will no doubt be arranged by the certifier. Luckily, the Canaries is one of just a handful of autonomous regions where this can be done: the majority do not yet have the registros in place to process the certificates! The label, or sticker, that must be attached to the details of property for sale or rental will be issued upon registration.
One major concern was whether notaries would stop a sale being signed if the property concerned did not have a certificate. It appears now that they will not have the power to do so, but as is the case where there is an issue with other relevant documents, they will advise both parties of the missing or erroneous document, warn that it must be arranged or corrected, and insert a clause in the new escritura to these effects.
Update 26 May: A few extra details about the new energy certificate system which is due to come into force in less than a week now, on 1 June, and despite the fact that much officialdom seems to be unready. The system will be administered by the autonomous regions, which have until mid-July to finalise lists of those permitted to issue certificates.
The average cost of the certificates will be €200 to €250. They will be valid for ten years, and will be required for any property being sold or rented for more than four months. Fines of between €300 and €600 are envisaged for advertising which breaches the new legislation. Fines of up to €6,000 are envisaged for more serious offences such as falsifying details.
Update 14 May: Anyone wishing to organize one of these certificates, or to confirm that someone else is legally able to issue them, now has an official regional contact point:
Consejería de Empleo, Industria y Comercio. Dirección General de Industria y Energía
C/ León y Castillo, 200; Edificio Servicios Múltiples III , Planta 4ª; 35071 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
THIS appears to be the full list of those qualified to issue these certificates in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Update 13 April: Real Decreto 235/2013 has now been approved and published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado nº 89 (13/04/2013). These certificates will continue to be voluntary until 1 June 2013, but from that date, they will be a requirement for anyone selling or renting a property.
Original post 1 April: I’ve now had a few emails and contact requests for information about a new requirement for all properties being sold or rented out for more than four months to have an energy certificate. I was actually holding off from posting it because it is not yet approved by the Spanish Government. The system should have started in January, with a new law in place as a result of EU directives (please see HERE), but it was only in January that the draft legislation was in place. It has recently been sent to Industria and as far as I know, the new law will be approved by the end of this month. When approved, it will come into force in June assuming there aren’t any changes to the draft legislation.
The bottom line is that from June (we assume), no-one will be able legally to sell or rent out a property without a certificate showing how energy efficient that property is. I will have to confirm later how the certificates can be obtained, but I can at least say that as far as cost is concerned, fees will be determined by market forces: it’s expected, though, to be around 250 to 300 Euros. I myself think it’s barmy to apply this across the EU without regard for the great differences in energy use and systems, and cannot really see what purpose it will serve here, but it is something that is coming in the near future. I’ll update when I have more information.
edit: given the date, it occurs to me to say that this is not an April Fool’s Day joke. I might join in with the Spanish Día de los Santos Inocentes, but there are no jokes on 1 April.