Property law update: Changes to Building Energy Efficiency Disclosures

Jun 27, 2017

Effective 1 July 2017, building owners or landlords of commercial premises where the net lettable area of the premises is 1,000m2 or more will be required to obtain and disclose an energy efficiency rating for the premises in a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate before that premises is marketed for sale, lease or sublease.

Before 1 July 2017, an energy efficiency rating had to be obtained and disclosed in a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate where the net lettable area of the premises was 2,000m2 or more.

The requirement to obtain an energy efficiency rating and to disclose it in a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate is part of the Commercial Building Disclosure Program established by the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010.

Building Energy Efficiency Certificates must be made publicly accessible on the Building Energy Efficiency Register.

What does this mean?

More premises than ever before will need to be assessed and rated for their energy efficiency and Building Energy Efficiency Certificates will need to be obtained and registered on the Building Energy Efficiency Register before those premises can be marketed for sale, lease or sublease.

An owner or landlord of a premises with a net lettable area of 1,000m2 or more who wants to market the premises for sale, lease or sublease must arrange for an accredited assessor to assess and rate the premises for energy efficiency and to apply for and register a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate before the premises is advertised for sale, lease or sublease.

What are the consequences of failing to comply?

Owners and landlords who fail to have premises rated for energy efficiency, obtain a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate and register the Certificate before advertising the building or premises for sale, lease or sublease, could face serious and substantial penalties.

The maximum penalty for failing to comply is $210,000 for each offence, and fines of up to $21,000 per day for subsequent offences occurring consecutively until the obligations are complied with.

Who is liable for non-compliance?

Final responsibility for complying with energy efficiency disclosure obligations rests with the building owner or landlord who is seeking to sell, lease or sublease the premises.

Other persons such as agents, lawyers and others helping to sell, lease or sublease premises can also be held accountable if they aid or abet or are in any way directly or indirectly knowingly involved a breach of the energy efficiency disclosure obligations.

More information

More information concerning energy efficiency disclosure obligations under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 is available via this link.

If you would like to discuss any of the information contained in this newsletter, or require assistance with any property law-related matter, please contact one of the following property lawyers: Geoff Kliger, Principal Lawyer, on (03) 8600 8878; Mark Yaskewych, Principal Lawyer, on (03) 8600 8830; Colin McCaul, Senior Associate, on (03) 8600 8806; or Aitan Schmideg, Consultant, on (03) 8600 8838. 

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