Can I serve Section 8 with no EPC?

by Readers Question

9:41 AM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Can I serve Section 8 with no EPC?

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Can I serve Section 8 with no EPC?

Really need some help or advice please! A close friend has very recently let her property and is now having to deal with everyone’s worst nightmare, a non paying tenant who is very difficult!

Long story short the tenant moved in April 6th after pressuring her with all sorts of stories (having to live in car etc) and was a friend of a friend so she reluctantly agreed, the main issue being that she was completely unaware of the new regs regarding an EPC (previous tenant was in her house 18 years) She has since asked for access to have the EPC done with no answer to any request and since moving in the tenants have paid no rent whatsoever, in fact they have stated in writing that they do not intend to pay any!

My question is can a section 8 be served using grounds 8,10,11 &12 with no EPC? She may also be left in the position of having to move back in to the property due to the financial loss she will incur, can she do this and does this add any weight to her case?

And if not what other avenues can she go down to get her property back?

Many thanks for any advice you can offer, this is a fantastic website and a great resource for any landlord!

lbchill



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:47 AM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Hi Ibchill,

No She definitely can't just move back in.

There are going to be more hurdles than just the EPC with this one including currently no possession hearings, which will then go into a massive backlog.

Your friend is unfortunately going to need professional help.
Please see >> https://www.property118.com/evicting-tenants/

Chris @ Possession Friend

11:33 AM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Hello Ibchill,
Did you read our article here about a month ago, offering Free advice ?

Mike

12:03 PM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Have you checked on the EPC data base your house might already be on the list if you or your previous tenants had loft insulation done, so just go to EPC website and search via your street address or post code and property number, if those who had loft insulation done, they automatically would have conducted an EPC report and logged into the national register. Besides section 8 does not specify any requirement for an EPC as far as I can tell, but get one as soon as you can if you haven't got one. I do not think Section 8 Eviction requires you to have an EPC except the tenant may put in his/her defence the reason for not paying rent was due to you not having an EPC.

In the long term, best to seek professional advice, it will cost you less time and money and less headach. as courts will require proof of serving notices, etc etc.

Toolsie

12:18 PM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Hello Ibchill
I had the same situation with my Tennant

Your friend has no choice but to get a Possession Order through the courts
The fact that they did not pay a deposit and rent you will have to wait after 2 months ,however you can start the process 1 week before the ending of the 2months

This is my personal experience

Rob Crawford

16:22 PM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

As suggested earlier, put the repossession in the hands of a PRS property solicitor. They should check all the paperwork etc before proceeding. This needs to be done now so that you can start court proceedings asap once the ban is lifted.

Puzzler

19:45 PM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

No disrespect to your friend but the nightmare is of her own making, she has not complied with the law and it has come back to haunt her. What else did she not provide? Did she do right to rent? Provide the How to rent Guide? etc. Is there a tenancy agreement? gas certificate? Why did she allow access prior to receiving a deposit and the first month's rent? Never do a favour but if you do make sure you ameliorate the situation by placing a good agent in between. Nearly all the horror stories on the TV or on here are because people think they can be a DIY landlord and save money. A false economy.

It's a long shot but if none of the above were done, she might be able to say they are trespassing - allowed to stay for a short time as guests but now won't move. The legal eagles on here will have a view as to whether that is a possible action.

Chris @ Possession Friend

20:03 PM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 05/06/2020 - 16:22
There are some things ( levers ) you can pull now to potentially help the situation.

Giles Peaker

21:31 PM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

I am assuming this is in England,
Short answer (contrary to some of the advice you have been given above) is that a section 8 notice can be served regardless of whether an EPC was provided, the How to Rent guide provided, a gas safety certificate provided, or indeed any deposit being protected. Those requirements only apply to section 21 notices.
However, if a deposit was taken but not protected, the tenant could counterclaim for the deposit and the 1 to 3 times deposit penalty, which would be set off against any rent arrears.
You don't say why ground 12 (breach of tenancy other than rent arrears) would be relevant.
Unless your friend had served a notice about potentially returning to live at her former home at the start of the tenancy, it is irrelevant that she might want to move in.
Any section 8 notice served now will require 3 months notice period due to the Coronavirus Act.

lbchill

6:11 AM, 6th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 05/06/2020 - 09:47
Understood and thank you, she has an appointment this week to speak with someone.

lbchill

6:18 AM, 6th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 05/06/2020 - 19:45
Thank you and believe me she fully understands this her own making, although not quite as reckless as you think, my fault I should have included more details in my original question!
- an AST is in place.
- one month plus deposit was taken.
- gas cert was provided.
- the relevant guides were provided.
All the above were left in the property on the date the tenancy started.
The obvious missing piece is the EPC?

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