The Spanish government has issued a warning to homeowners in Spain amid signs that unqualified assessors and fraudsters are operating in the country. Last month saw a change in property legislation across Spain with the introduction of energy efficiency certificates which are in line with the energy performance certificates used in the UK. This documentation is required for anybody selling or renting a property in Spain although there are a number of other issues which are causing some confusion.
Properties built before 2007 will automatically require an energy efficiency certificate although those built in 2007 or later should already have one as a matter of course. There are a number of issues to take into consideration if you fall into any of these categories as there seem to be some variations between different areas of Spain.
Despite the fact that properties built in 2007 or later should automatically have their own energy efficiency certificates as a matter of course, a number of local governments across Spain failed to introduce the legislation on time and not all properties will have the relevant documentation. So for those looking to sell or rent a property they will need to locate the documentation as soon as possible as it will form an integral part of the transaction.
Quote from PropertyForum.com : “While on the surface it seems as though the Spanish banking system has been through the worst of the downturn, received finance from investors and the European Union, there are worrying signs that this may not be the case.”
Fraudsters operating in Spain
Despite the fact that the energy efficiency certificates have been in for less than two months there are many scams and fraudsters operating across the country. Unqualified assessors have made themselves available to those looking to sell or rent properties built prior to 2007 and some are even guaranteeing an “A-Rating”. This is obviously against the law and there are serious repercussions for anyone found distributing illegal energy efficiency certificates.
In simple terms, the certificate can only be issued by an architect, engineer or qualified technician who is authorised to undertake building projects as well as thermal insulation for buildings. The situation is made a little more complicated by the fact that relevant architects and engineers should also belong to a provincial body and have their own membership number authorising them to issue energy efficiency certificates in line with the new legislation. The fact that not all architects and engineers are certified is yet another level of confusion which is not helping the situation.
For the record, the price of an energy efficiency certificate should be anywhere between €200 and €300 per home. If anybody quotes a significantly cheaper alternative or a more expensive alternative then alarm bells should begin to ring.
Using your energy efficiency certificate
Once you are in receipt of a valid certificate this must be registered with the local Spanish authority which will probably incur a further fee of around €30. You will then be issued with an energy label after the registration is approved which can be made available to estate agents, prospective buyers and prospective tenants. Anyone found to be operating in breach of the new legislation could be fined anywhere up to €6000 by the Spanish authorities.