From 1 January 2012, an energy performance certificate has to be obtained by the developer, the owner or the landlord when buildings are sold or let.
The certificate will remain valid for 10 years (although in certain cases new certificates will be required.) and it must be prepared by a duly authorised engineer or professional company.
The requirement of the energy performance certificate has been introduced in order to implement a relevant EU directive. According to the Government Regulation of 176/2008. (VI. 30.), this requirement applies to certain buildings when – if it is a newly-built building – it starts to be used; if it is an existing building, it is bought or sold or is let for a term of more than one year; if it is a state-owned building with more than 1,000 m2 of usable floor space.
A certificate is not required when ownership is transferred before the occupancy permit (“használatba vételi engedély”) is granted, or when a co-owner acquires an ownership share.
The buildings affected by this requirement are buildings with 50 m2 or more of usable floor space.
Currently, there is a confusion around the implementation and especially the enforcement of this new requirement. According to the media communication of the Ministry of the Interior, a violation against the energy certificate requirement constitutes a general infringement of Section 31 (1) a) of the Government Regulation 218/1999. (XII. 28.) and a penalty with a maximum amount of HUF 50.000,― can be imposed against the violator. On the other hand, the relevant EU-directive lays down that the penalties provided for must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. The Hungarian government has the possibility of introducing more effective and dissuasive penalties until 9 January 2013 at the latest, therefore we expect that the maximum amount of the above fine will be increased in order to have a deterrent effect.