From my own personal view, I don’t believe that the EPC gives the tenant or landlord great value as I believe the tenant(s) are intelligent enough to understand whether there are energy saving bulbs, gas central heating, double glazing and the benefits of those things rather than the original windows etc.
For anybody that read the newsletter in May, the same scenario can occur as the gas safety certificate if a landlord wishes to gain possession of their property, where the landlord is still required to prove that the tenant has received a copy of the EPC. If the landlord is unable to prove that the tenant has received a copy, then a judge has the right to refuse the application to gain possession of the property. If the scenario happened it would mean that the landlord would be required to serve the tenant with the EPC keeping a record that it has been served, then apply to the courts again to repeat the procedure which could take an additional 3 to 4 months.
The concerning thing which I think has been overlooked with the EPC, is the most dangerous part for the landlord, who has a listed building or conservation areas who are exempt from having to provide an EPC therefore, unfortunately leaving themselves wide open in the event if they need to gain possession of the property.
Let me put this scenario to you; a tenant is in a listed building and stops paying the rent. The landlord serves them 2 months notice to vacate, they decide not to leave. The landlord goes to court where the Judge requires a copy of the EPC. The landlord then tries to arrange for an EPC Surveyor to access the property to produce the certificate. The tenant refuses access. Then the landlord would be in a situation where he can’t get into the property to carry out the certificate and also can’t gain possession of his property without it. I think this is known as the chicken and egg situation. I’m sure when the government put the new rules in place, they did not think of the implications this could cause.
Another thing to think of now that we are in Brexit and the EPC comes from an EU Directive, the question asked in a few years time will we be required to carry out an EPC.
Next month’s blog will cover Legionnaires Risk Assessments.