Can a Local Housing Officer Force me to Install HHR Storage Heaters?

Can a Local Housing Officer Force me to Install HHR Storage Heaters?

13:17 PM, 5th October 2022, About A year ago 21

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Hello, I have a flat that has modern electric panel wall heaters with thermostats and timer switches which run on standard-rate electricity.

The tenant has a direct contract in their name with the electricity supplier. The EPC rating for the flat is D.

The local Housing Officer has recently visited the flat and has now sent us a Section 11 Improvement Notice (and an administration charge invoice) on the basis that there is a heating system installed to the property that is purely reliant on peak rate electricity and is prohibitively expensive to use.

The schedule of works includes high heat retention storage heaters to be fitted and a wall-mounted electric panel heater with timer and electronic thermostat must be provided in the lounge and a similar and suitable unit provided in the kitchen”.

According to the Notice we are expected to install HHR storage heaters AND wall-mounted panel heaters in the kitchen and lounge, as well as having the meter changed to a dual-rate E7 supply.

I have never come across such a request before and would be grateful for some advice.

Thank you,

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21:45 PM, 5th October 2022, About A year ago

Assuming that I have understood the Housing Act 2004 s11 correctly, how exactly does the current heating of the property constitute a "category 1 hazard", which appears to be the criterium for issuing such a Notice?

The post does not explain why the Housing Officer was attending. Some background context might have helped.

Chris @ Possession Friend

23:28 PM, 5th October 2022, About A year ago

If you send the Improvement Notice to us, I'll look into it for you.


10:25 AM, 6th October 2022, About A year ago

Sorry to read your troubles with the council. I can only comment on some practicalities I adopt.

Use wall mounted bathroom compliant bathroom heaters with thermostat and timer. Dont use the ones without either they are cheaper to buy but tenants don't use them otherwise.

Quantum HHR night storage heaters are expensive to buy. But very good especially for low EPc grade properties. Some of refuse to use them as they want heaters on as and when there at home and cannot afford constant background heating. Your improvements might not be improvements for your tenants.


10:45 AM, 6th October 2022, About A year ago

On a positive note changing the heaters would more than likely Increase your EPC rating to at least a "C" meeting likely future requirements.
If your tenant is on a qualifying benefit or their household income is below £31,000 they may be entitled to a fully funded energy grant for the works.
It is difficult to understand what authority the inspector has to demand such "improvements".
If the tenant does not use your new storage heaters they would end up with higher energy bills as electricity tariff rates for day use where economy 7 exists is in fact more expensive.
Having previously worked as a grant advisor for such alterations I never heard of such an intervention.
It would be interesting to hear of the eventual outcome.

Paul Essex

12:27 PM, 6th October 2022, About A year ago

I was always expecting this. The decent homes standard has the difficult statement that the landlord must provide 'an affordable heating system '.
This week storage heaters maybe next year or two we could be forced to install heat pumps.
The powers that be are really clueless if they think the tenants will actually benefit overall - all of the costs have to come from the rent.

Seething Landlord

12:41 PM, 6th October 2022, About A year ago

The decent homes standard does not yet apply to the PRS so is this a case of a local authority official jumping the gun or simply exceeding his authority?

Mr Tee

13:45 PM, 6th October 2022, About A year ago

Politics of envy is the phrase to describe this rogue housing office.
He gets up one morning and think I will make a landlord poorer because I am on a £12.50 an hour wages an why should a landlord make more money than myself.
This is politics of envy. Liberal lefties ideology.

Seething Landlord

13:58 PM, 6th October 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Mr Tee at 06/10/2022 - 13:45
More likely ignorance than malice in my view.

Seething Landlord

14:05 PM, 6th October 2022, About A year ago

I am mystified by this and quite anxious to know which regulations they allege you have breached. Could you provide this information as it would surely have been included in the notice that they have served. If not can you please ask them and let us know the answer.

Paul Essex

16:31 PM, 6th October 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 06/10/2022 - 12:41
Unfortunately several councils have given themselves the right to enforce the standard in selective licenced areas. I suspect that the OP is in one of these.

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