Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,000

Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,000

15:08 PM, 29th March 2021, About A year ago 40

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And so the EPC witch-hunt begins: Threatening fines of up to £5,000 for any rental property with an EPC lower than Band E, councils are now using artificial intelligence to pull together all manner of records and information to cross-correlate properties on the EPC register with ratings F or G so that they can issue fines in the name of improving housing conditions for tenants.

Of course, this is just another tactic in councils’ strategy to find properties that should have HMO, additional or selective licences and then to be able to issue massive fines for licence (tax) avoidance and then further fines under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System or the HMO Management Regulations in councils’ relentless drive for revenue from Landlords’ assess bases.

Most Landlords have only between 1 and 4 properties, they have no comprehension of the technology and staffing that councils are employing to find them guilty of crimes under the Housing Acts and other legislation, since the government gave Councils the powers to set most of the rules, be police, judge and jury and then keep all the money they can raise in fines.

It is difficult to understand how anyone could still want to be a landlord in the housing market which has become a police-state in which most council enforcement officers consider ALL landlords to be Rogue Landlords and Criminals.

In today’s example: Labour-controlled Exeter council, working with Exeter Community Energy, says it’s currently identifying properties being let with an EPC rating below E and it wants to ensure homes across the city stay warm and energy bills kept to a minimum.

Of course, since April 2020, under MEES (the Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency Standards), landlords can no longer let a property with an EPC rating of F or G unless they have a valid exemption.

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The council is also making a public appeal to anyone renting or aware of properties with F or G ratings to contact the council.

Although the authority insists it is “keen to engage with landlords in the first instance to offer information and support,” its statement goes on to threaten: “If landlords fail to engage within a reasonable time period and make necessary improvements, the council may take action, including the issuing of fines up to £5,000 per breach, per household and a notice requiring works to be carried out.”

The attack on landlords by councils never ends.

If you are facing a Rent Repayment order from your tenants or the council contact Landlord Licensing & Defence urgently for professional representation 



Comments

Jireh Homes

16:34 PM, 3rd April 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Charles Pilton at 03/04/2021 - 13:00
Hi Charles - in response to your question if you need to renew an EPC where long term tenant in situ and the EPC expires, you do not. However in Scotland we have a "backstop" date being proposed which will then capture expired EPCs so ultimately forced to renew.

Jireh Homes

16:40 PM, 3rd April 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Peter Lassman at 03/04/2021 - 15:53
Hi Peter - in response to your query on the £5000 maximum fine, this is set by UK Government, not the local council - although they may the recipients!

Luke P

18:42 PM, 3rd April 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 03/04/2021 - 13:22
What did you do? It’ll still be on the register if the assessor logged it.

Badger

18:45 PM, 3rd April 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 03/04/2021 - 18:42
Another surveyor was booked and he provided an EPC that made sense.

linda green

16:07 PM, 5th April 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Jireh Homes at 03/04/2021 - 11:55
Thank you Jireh - very helpful info as otherwise would be put in a literally impossible situation!

Simon Lever - Chartered Accountant helping clients get the best returns from their properties View Profile

19:09 PM, 9th April 2021, About A year ago

I have a property that was my mother's before she passed away and is currently let out.
EPC in 2008 was a C (80) with a potential to rise to a B(82) on the certificate.
Reassessed in 2018 with a rating of D(65) and a potential of D(65).
This is in a block of flats built about 20 years ago.
The only change, made by my mother, was to change the inefficient gas boiler to an efficient electric boiler.
Guess I may have to change it back to a gas boiler before 2025.

Darren Peters

12:01 PM, 16th April 2021, About A year ago

No council should be allowed to do this until all of their stock has the same EPC rating that they require of others. Otherwise how can they be focussed on keeping their own house(es) in order?

A bi-product of this would be that by the time the council come knocking they would have lots of experience and be able to provide friendly, helpful advice on how to environmentalize the difficult properties.

Naive of me I know.

Luke P

12:18 PM, 16th April 2021, About A year ago

Whilst EPC’s are Trading Standards domain, I was speaking with a LA housing standards enforcement officer the other day who recalled recently she was issuing a notice on a social housing provider, taking the view that standards are what matter regardless of who the LL is, but her boss was aghast…’We don’t issue enforcement notices on social housing providers!’

Double-standards.

Badger

13:23 PM, 16th April 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 16/04/2021 - 12:18
It's utterly outrageous the way that the public (and semi-public - i.e. housing associations) authorities are exempted from the standards required of others.

It really grinds my gears.

[ Cut to shot of man howling in impotent rage at the injustice of it all...]

Mick Roberts View Profile

9:05 AM, 3rd September 2021, About 12 months ago

Apologies for posting on 4 EPC 118 links at same time, but din't want to miss that one very important person who may end up getting the Govt & Councils to see sense.

This could be a tester to see how many Landlords start packing up & how many houses they lose for tenants cause of the EPC changes.
They will improve the EPC ratings, but will the tenants rents improve accordingly to pay for New Build standards......

https://propertyinvestorpost.com/landlords-could-be-fined-if-they-fail-to-improve-epc-ratings/

Darlington Council is considering fining landlords up to £5,000 if they fail to improve the Energy Performance Certificate rating of their properties.

Over 250 landlords in Darlington who own properties with an EPC rating of F and G could be fined unless they improve the green standards of their homes.

As reported by Darlington Live, Jonathan Dulston, Darlington’s deputy council leader and cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “We know that the vast majority of private landlords stick to the rules and provide good accommodation, but we are determined to crack down on rogue landlords who do not care about their tenants or the standard of their properties.

“These new powers will improve the energy efficiency standards of private rented homes which will in turn improve residents’ health, ensuring people do not live in homes that are cold and damp. It will also help reduce fuel bills and alleviate fuel poverty and will contribute to the council’s housing and climate change strategies.

“The message is clear – private landlords need to do the right thing and make sure their properties meet the minimum standards at the very least.”

If the new powers are put into use the landlords in question will be notified that they are committing an offence.

They will be advised on energy efficiency grants and given 14 days to put plans in place to improve their properties.

However landlords that previous flaunted housing regulations could face a fine of up to £5,000 without warning.

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