In a long awaited move by Rightmove, 3D virtual tours have formally been recognised as a permanent media source that prospective buyers and end users want to see when browsing the site to find their next home. The move came as a silent update which features a 'Virtual Tour' tab displayed prominently next to other media and data sources such as 'Description' and 'Floor Plan'.
The addition of the virtual tour tab onto the mobile platform comes with the lastest Rightmove stats that 67% of web access comes from a mobile device rather than a desktop browser. This means that virtual tour viewing rates will now see an increase of around 300% over what they have been prior.
So what is a 'Virtual Tour'? A Matterport virtual tour is a digital product utilised to allow the prospective buyer to navigate and find their way through a property both pre viewing and post viewing. It uses a combination of IR laser scan data and 360 degree panoramic photography to build a photorealistic model of a property, enabling a smooth navigation in both photographic view and also as a 3D 'Dolls House' view.
Why has Rightmove decided to roll this feature out as a primary media source and why is it so important?
From the 1st of April 2018 the minimum energy efficiency standard/EPC rating required to grant a new lease will be a rating of E (39 SAP points).
A valid EPC is required to prove that the property meets the minimum rating.
What happens if all recommendations/improvements measures are carried out or there are none that can be made and the EPC rating is still sub-standard, lower than an ‘E’ rating?
In certain, limited, circumstances landlords may be able to claim an exemption. Where a valid exemption applies, landlords must register the exemption on the database set up for this purpose – the PRS Exemptions Register
What are the exemptions?
Buildings which are not legally required to have an EPC such as listed buildings
Buildings let on leases over 99 years or less than 6 months
Impact on vale and high cost exemption - if the improvements devalue the property by more than 5% or do not meet the 7 year payback rule
Consent exemption - if you cannot get consent to make improvements such as planning, consent from a superior landlord etc
All exemptions must be lodged on the PRS Exemptions Register with related evidence.
How long will the exemption last?
The landlord will be exempt from letting a sub-standard property for 5 years from the date of registration. In the event of a person suddenly becoming a landlord then a temporary exemption will last for 6 months
Exemptions claimed by the landlord may not pass over to a new owner of a property upon sale or transfer, they will cease
What are the penalties?
The enforcement authority may impose a financial penalty of potentially up to £150,000 or up to 20% of the rateable value for commercial property and up to £5,000 for domestic properties subject to how long the landlord has let a sub-standard property unlawfully
What next and what can I do?
The Government has also announced their aim to raise the minimum standard to D rating in 2025 and a C rating by 2030. We advise visiting the EPC register website to check if a valid EPC exists for your property and what the current score is.
GDImpact have been at the forefront of EPC services since they were introduced in late 2007
We have helped thousands of landlords and sellers stay compliant with up to date and accurate EPC assessments.
As a leading supplier of EPCs, Land Registry Lease/Scale Plans and Asbestos Surveys - we can provide multiple reports from one site visit and for one discounted fee.
For further information or advice please contact our experienced and friendly team on 01273 640224
*Planning Permission was not required or development had taken so long ago that is immune from enforcement action.
GDImpact provided scale 1:100 plans on paper size A3 with the location plan above at 1:1250.
The initial site survey was carried out with access to all parts of the building arranged with the current occupants.
GDImpact were able to measure and collect the data from one site visit resulting in minimal disruption for the tenants.
Draft plans were delivered for approval within our clients strict timescales.
With minimal amendments required, our client was able to successfully deliver the plans to Brighton and Hove city council to assist in obtaining the lawful development certificate.
Should the client convert the building into self contained flats then GDImpact will be able to further assist in providing Land Registry compliant lease plans and SAP calculations for building control to ensure minimum energy standards are achieved.