The 1 October deadline for energy performance certificates has been extended. The government has introduced transitional arrangements that will allow commercial properties an extra three months to obtain an EPC.

The new measure means that owners of commercial properties have until 4 January to obtain an EPC, unless the building is sold or rented beforehand, in which case an EPC will be part of the transaction.

A government spokesman said: “Those properties that are already on the market without an EPC will not all suddenly need to get one overnight between 30 September and 1 October. They will need to obtain one from 1 October but they have until January to get it.” The 1 October deadline does still apply for domestic property sales and rentals.

Critics in the property sector say the EPC deadline has put pressure on the already shaky commercial property market. Catherine Diggle, partner at law firm LG, described EPCs as “an unwelcome and potentially significant extra cost at an already difficult time”, and claimed that individual EPCs could cost anywhere from £1500 for small shops to £50,000 for a shopping centre.

Judy Ong, a qualified assessor, challenged Diggle’s estimates: “It does depend on a lot of factors, but I have assessed small high street shops at the £400-£600 mark, and £20,000 is a much more realistic figure for a shopping centre,” she said.