Buying a house without an energy certificate

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We have found our "traum haus" and are due to sign for it at the Notar's on Thursday 8th Jan. We got the contract last night, and are painfully translating it (unsere deutsch ist sehr schlecht).

 

I found this paragraph:

"auf die Bestimmungen der §§ 95 ff. VVG und die Energieeinsparverordnung (EnEV).

Der Verkäufer erklärt, dass er nicht im Besitz eines Energieausweises ist. Der Erwerber verzichtet endgültig auf dessen Vorlage und Übergabe."

 

My questions are: How big a problem is this? And (more importantly) how much does it cost to get a Certificate? And how does one get one?

 

The house has been empty for the last two years, which is why it doesn't have one.

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If the Notar says it is legal to proceed on this basis then don't worry about that part of it. Do clarify this before the contract signing appointment.

 

If a house has been empty for two years and the heating bills for the time prior to that are not available then you can't estimate how much the house will cost to heat. The risk you take is that your assumptions about how much to budget for these bills are inaccurate.

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This from Wikipedia:

 

Besitzer von bis 1965 errichteten Gebäuden müssen potenziellen Käufern/Mietern ab dem 1. Juli 2008 einen Energieausweis für ihr Gebäude vorlegen. Für später errichtete Gebäude gilt dies ab dem 1. Januar 2009. Die Pflicht zur Vorlage des Ausweises ist, so die Verordnung, spätestens unverzüglich nach entsprechender Aufforderung zu erfüllen.

 

Für bestehende Gebäude muss bei Verkauf, Neu-Vermietung, Verpachtung oder Leasing eines Gebäudes dem Interessenten auf Verlangen ein Energieausweis zugänglich gemacht werden.

 

So if you ask for one they would have to provide one. The contract is simply saying they haven't got one, and that you agree not to require them to provide one now or in the future. No problem, unless you wanted to sell. Then you would have to provide one or get the same clause put in the sale contract.

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I'd be more interested to know why it took them two years to find a buyer (assuming it was on the market the whole time) and what damage has been done to the property after two winters without heating (assuming it wasn't heated whilst empty). Not directly relevant to the question I know.

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If the Notar says it is legal to proceed on this basis then don't worry about that part of it. Do clarify this before the contract signing appointment.

Thank you for this - I will make sure I ask this question.

 

 

No problem, unless you wanted to sell. Then you would have to provide one or get the same clause put in the sale contract.

Indeed. So: how does one get one? And how much does it cost?

 

 

I'd be more interested to know why it took them two years to find a buyer [snip]

and what damage has been done to the property after two winters without heating.

Well, I can tell you these answers! These guys were looking for a house to renovate and fit with all the top-notch gadgets their hearts desired (they are both med. Drs so aren't poor). They bought this house, instructed architects etc., etc. Then they found another house which suited their purposes better, so bought that as well, and are now mid-way through taking the 2nd house apart. So they no longer needed "our" house, hence our good luck.

And as far as the heating system is concerned, everything was completely drained down.

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We didn't need to deal with the energy certificates since we bought our house before they came into effect. I was curious and did a quick google.de search for "energieausweis". They start from a low of 15 euros. :o (can't vouch for their accuracy, though)

 

Frankly, I wouldn't be too worried about it. If you have inspected the house and have an idea of the heating system/insulation/water then go ahead and buy it without the energy certificate. After all, it is a new requirement and somehow folks have been buying and selling homes up to now without one and having no trouble at all, assuming they did their homework ahead of time.

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Ours cost EUR65, and was issued by the chimney sweep. I think the cost may be linked to the size of the heating/house. Not sure though.

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From what I know, there are two different types of "Energieausweis":

The "Bedarfsausweis" seems to be the more reliable (and probably expensive) one. An expert would have to look at the building and calculate the potential energy consumption.

The "Verbrauchsausweis" is just calculated based on the heating bills of the last years. As Rebecca mentioned this might not be possible in this case.

 

I dont get it. Compared to the price of a house, the costs of an "Energieausweis" shouldnt be a problem. The fact that they dont want to do it, raises suspicion.

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When buying a house I would care a damn for an Energieausweis.

You know when the house was built. You can judge the quility of the walls.

You can check the quality of the windows. How old is the central heating.

What's the size (kW). You can see the size of the oil tank. If it's larger than

2000l you will probably have to insulate the house, replace all windows and

replace the burner.

If you don't have this expertise an achitect or engineer should check the house before you buy.

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I can understand them wanting to have one less piece of administrative trivia to deal with. Given that the house hasn't been lived in, there is no historical data from the last few years to do the cheaper usage certificate. So they'd have to call a more expensive inspector, make an appointment, take time for the inspection etc. etc. which can be very annoying when you're already dealing with all the other stuff. Used to be that the buyer was responsible for checking out the place and paying for the costs of the inspector. Now it seems the gov't is partially making the seller responsible.

 

Der Energieausweis - Wer braucht einen Energiepass? Wann - und welche Art?

 

 

Wie teuer die verschiedenen Ausweise sein dürfen, darüber gibt es keine Vorschriften – und entsprechend große Unterschiede. Verbrauchs-Ausweise gibt es über das Internet bereits ab 10 Euro (aber Vorsicht bei der Seriosität!). Wird der Eigentümer persönlich beraten, kommt eventuell der Aussteller ins Haus, dann kann der Preis auch bei 100 oder 150 Euro liegen. Bedarfsorientierte Energiepässe sind teurer, sie kosten mehrere hundert Euro.

So a regular energy usage certificate based on the last few years costs is cheap, usually under 150 euros. But the more expensive one which this seller would need can cost several hundred euros. Yep... I can understand both parties wanting to avoid the extra cost without anything suspicious going on.

 

In the end, it is buyer beware as usual. If the OP has checked the house out and is satisfied, then there's no reason for the extra expense of several hundred euros for yet another inspection. Besides, most likely the seller will just pass on the costs to the buyer anyway.

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I'd be more interested to know why it took them two years to find a buyer (assuming it was on the market the whole time) and what damage has been done to the property after two winters without heating (assuming it wasn't heated whilst empty). Not directly relevant to the question I know.

Our house was on the market and empty for two years before we bought it. It was minimally heated (otherwise the pipes would burst etc, especially during the really cold winter 05/06). Didn't notice where your house is, but some areas are just really slow in the property market.

 

According to the "new" (?) legislation, older houses had to have new heating systems installed. Not sure when that came in, during 2005 perhaps. Colleagues of my husband bought a house in early 2005 and did not have new heating boiler etc, so they had all that expense themselves. So we, though totally ignorant, were just lucky to be buying one year later.

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From what I know, there are two different types of "Energieausweis":

The "Bedarfsausweis" seems to be the more reliable (and probably expensive) one. An expert would have to look at the building and calculate the potential energy consumption.

The "Verbrauchsausweis" is just calculated based on the heating bills of the last years.

 

I can understand them wanting to have one less piece of administrative trivia to deal with. Given that the house hasn't been lived in, there is no historical data from the last few years to do the cheaper usage certificate. So they'd have to call a more expensive inspector, make an appointment, take time for the inspection etc. etc. which can be very annoying when you're already dealing with all the other stuff.

But the more expensive one which this seller would need can cost several hundred euros. Yep... I can understand both parties wanting to avoid the extra cost without anything suspicious going on.

Thank you both - this is exactly the stuff I needed to find out about.

 

One final question please: what is to stop us from moving in sans Certificate, living in the house for say 2 years, then getting the el cheapo version as we would have accumulated some info on heating costs etc?

We plan to sit tight for a year or so and recover somewhat from the financial hit of the purchase, then do some fairly radical improvements (HRV unit, water recycling, solar panels, ...) so seems rather a waste of money to pay for the fancy Cert. at this point.

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One final question please: what is to stop us from moving in sans Certificate, living in the house for say 2 years, then getting the el cheapo version as we would have accumulated some info on heating costs etc?

That certainly would work. If you dont plan to sell it, you wont need the "Energieausweis" anyway. As long as you are shure that they dont try to cover up some serious flaw, I dont see any problem.

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...only if the the boiler is older than 30 years!!!

Yes, well both houses were older than 30 yrs, so boilers were too. We were just lucky to buy one year later when the legislation was in place.

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In five years from now you will surely also need a "Feinstaubplakette" or your house.

erm ... a "fine dust plaque"? :)

Pardon my ignorance, but what is this?

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From the link I gave above:

 

 

Grundsätzlich gilt: Nicht jeder, der ein Haus oder eine Wohnung besitzt, benötigt auch einen Energieausweis. Wer selbst in seinem Eigentum wohnt und das auch nicht ändern will, braucht keinen. Erst wenn eine neue Vermietung oder ein Verkauf ansteht, muss ein solcher Ausweis her – dann muss er nämlich bereits bei der Besichtigung den Interessenten auf Wunsch vorgelegt werden.

rough transl.

Not everyone who has a house or apartment needs an energy certificate. Folks who live in their own place and don't plan to change that, don't need any. Only when renting or selling takes place must there be such a certificate - then the owner must be ready to provide any interested buyers or renters the certificate if they want to see it.

 

So you don't need one until you plan to sell or rent which could be quite a few years away. We don't have one and don't plan on getting one until the day comes when we're planning to move.

 

Cheers! :)

 

edit: Feinstaubplakette is a little sticker that cars need in order to be allowed into many city centres. It is just another silly tax since there's no inspection involved and you just pay a few euro and get the darned thing to stick on your windshield. Has to do with fine particles from car exhausts, but they base it on the year of your car and not its actual mechanical condition when it comes to regular gasoline motors.

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I would like to revive this thread because 1) if I started another about energieausweis, somebody would jump all over my arse with "the search function is your friend" sarcasm and 2) I have just had two such certificates for the two houses in my hof that I'm in the process of selling. 

The agent had told us that it is the law that we have to provide these certificates, so we got a schornsteinfeger to do them at a cost of almost €400.  The notar wrote the contracts, read them out to us and the buyer, we all signed and just realised that there is nothing in the contracts about it. We've asked the agent again and he said that without them, we could be sued. I don't understand.  Have I wasted the money? 

There is info on the net about it but unfortunately my Deutsch is not good enough for official bullshit.

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