New energy efficiency certificates for buildings, similar to that shown on appliances, are compulsory for sellers and landlords from June the 1st of this year if they are intending selling or letting a property.
These certificates are raising many doubts among consumers, and many frauds have already been reported. In this article I will try to provide you with some tips on how to stand clear from a possible scam.
First thing, first.
Although it is a free market and the prices to produce a certificate may vary, nevertheless be suspicious if someone is offering you a certificate for less than 100 Euros. I am saying this because if you know the amount of work to be done to produce a correct certificate you may guess the approximate price that you should be paying as you know, no one sell Euros at fifty cents.
First of all, the professional must obtain all the relevant facts about the owner, name, address, NIE or passport number Land Register references etc. In case the client wants the certificate to be registered in local province and this is a must, (otherwise the certificate is incomplete) a signed authorization allowing the professional to register the certificate on his behalf must be produced and handed over to the professional. On this point alone I recommend to be very precise as to what you authorize your agent i.e. it should exclusively be to register the certificate in the appropriate regional community and that is it.
Depending on Regional Community the certificates may be logged on line as in the Valencia Region or in person as in the Murcia Region. The Valencia Region do not charge anything to register the certificate on line but Murcia charge 7,57€. You need at least half a day to queue up collect an application form go to the bank pay the 7.57€ go back to the official establishment queue again and have the original certificate stamped by a civil servant.
The property must be visited.
This is a must. The property must be visited by the inspector, even if you hand over a perfectly accurate set of plans of the property, a professional worth his salts must visit the property or send a trained assistant to carry out a number of checks which shall include the verification of the type of construction of the shell of the building, check all openings sizes, type of joinery, which part of the building is in contact with ground in case of basement or semi basement etc. The installations to provide hot water must in addition be check as the make the Kws. used by the installation and any other system such as air conditioning or solar energy settings.
All this information must then be introduce into an official programme provided by the Ministry of Energy of Spain. Then a set of recommendations must be introduced by the inspector as to how improve the energy efficiency of the property and finally the certificate must be signed by this professional assuming the responsibility for the certificate. Normally a professional should have a professional indemnity insurance to cover any possible liability or negligence which of course it has an additional cost.