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New rules on energy performance certificates will apply from November 2023

According to the legislation in force in Hungary, when entering into a sale or lease contract of a real property, the buyer or tenant must declare in the contract that he/she has received a document called energy performance certificate (“EPC”) which certifies the energy performance rating of the property and EPC’s unique identification number shall be included in the contract.

From 1 November 2023, the system for assessing the energy performance of buildings will be modified and new EPCs will be introduced. Along with the rationale for the government decree, the aim of the amendment is to define a new energy certification model that is more transparent and user-friendly than the previous one. The new system not only assesses the building’s energy performance as a whole and marks it with a letter, but also separately assesses the energy efficiency of individual technical building systems (such as heating, air conditioning, ventilation, lighting, domestic hot water) and building structure elements, and also provides detailed, periodic renovation and modernization proposals for the owner.

Under the new rules, the obligation to obtain an EPC for the sale and rental of a real estate will remain, but its number and receipt of the certificate will no longer be required to be indicated in the contracts. The seller or landlord of a property will be obliged to present the EPC or a copy of thereof to the prospective buyer or tenant by the day of the conclusion of the contract and hand over the certificate or a copy of it by the day of the transfer of possession at the latest. In the case of newly built real estates, the EPS must be obtained by the builder before the application for occupancy authorization is submitted. The validity of the certificates has been reduced from 10 years to 5 years.

Many people are not aware that EPC is not only compulsory for sales or rental contracts, but also when offering a building for sale or rent in an advertisement, the energy performance rating of the building must also be indicated. It is important to note that it is still not mandatory to obtain an EPC if the property is (i) detached and has a useful floor area of less than 50 sqm, (ii) used for holiday or recreational use, where the property is occupied for less than 4 months per year, (iii) a parade building, tent or tent structure intended for use for a maximum of 2 years, (iv) a building used for religious purposes, (v) an agricultural, logistical or industrial building in which the air temperature does not exceed 12°C during the operating time of the heating system or is heated for less than four months and cooled for less than two months, or (vi) in some cases, a workshop or building on industrial land.