EPC obtained but not provided to tenants – Is S21 valid?

EPC obtained but not provided to tenants – Is S21 valid?

by Readers Question

Guest Author

10:15 AM, 17th February 2023, About A year ago 22

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In September 2022 I served a S21 on my tenants giving 4 months Notice. They have approached the Council as they require assistance getting rehoused and have been told that the S21 is invalid because the EPC expired in 2020 and they weren’t issued with a copy of a new one.

The tenancy began in 2016 and has since become periodic, and I had a new EPC completed in 2022 prior to serving notice but failed to provide the tenants with a copy.

My understanding was that providing them with an EPC during the tenancy was not required – am I wrong and is the S21 therefore invalid?

All the documents required to be provided before the tenancy commenced were provided.

Many thanks

Colin


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Comments

Andrew Martin Harrington

13:24 PM, 18th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by SimonR at 17/02/2023 - 10:21
Sorry- but part of the paperwork you need to have is a valid- in date EPC when you ask a tenant to leave a property on an assured short hold tenancy. If you do not have a valid EPC then you have the problem of getting access to get the EPC done. So - always have a valid EPC for your rental properties.
I am a EPC assessor and Letting agent and have had this issue many times.

colinwri

14:04 PM, 18th February 2023, About A year ago

There was a valid EPC at the time notice was served. However, I never supplied a copy to the tenant. That is where my confusion lies. Was it necessary to provide a copy to the tenant before serving the notice?
She was given a copy of the previous EPC prior to the tenancy starting.

Jessie Jones

23:08 PM, 18th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by colinwri at 18/02/2023 - 14:04
It seems possible that your tenant has been to the council to enquire about getting help with finding alternative accommodation, and the easiest way for the council to deflect this problem is to look for legal loopholes to thwart your repossession, so that they don't have to re-home your tenant. Your tenant may well be being played by the council and be an unwilling participant in their shenanigans.
As much as I am always reluctant to pay solicitors if I feel that I don't have to, I think on this occasion it looks like you might be on the cusp of a legal battle by proxy with the Council. EPC's are not the only trip wire that might be in your way. It is probably a good time to engage a local firm who have experience with your local repossession courts.

Andrew Martin Harrington

23:25 PM, 18th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by colinwri at 18/02/2023 - 14:04
Yes- that’s exactly what has happened- The council check all paperwork has be correctly issued before they need to re home someone- once a new EPC is completed then you will have to start again.

David Houghton

9:13 AM, 19th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by David at 17/02/2023 - 11:23
Yes it can certainly delay things. Even if the judge order a hearing and it's all ok the delay can be significant. I serve my by email, after receiving the tenants consent to receive these by email. The judge ordered these be re served. So I lost a couple of months there.

Best to err on the side of caution and leave nothing to chance

JUD KIRK

12:25 PM, 19th February 2023, About A year ago

From the Shelter web site.
An EPC must be served/provided prior to the commencement of the Tenancy. Contrary to comments on here, there is no need to have a current EPC to serve notice!

David Houghton

15:15 PM, 19th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by JUD KIRK at 19/02/2023 - 12:25
Thanks Jud. I stand corrected. Didn't know that. There are sanctions for not having an EPC, but I do know if there's a Policeman for it.

Seething Landlord

16:02 PM, 19th February 2023, About A year ago

The guidance notes to form 6a refer to AN EPC and a CURRENT gas certificate ie not to a current EPC.

The EPC requirements are found in the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2012 section 6 which is headed "EPCs on sale and rent", 6 (5) states that the relevant person must ensure that a valid EPC has been given free of charge to the person who ultimately becomes the tenant.

The obvious intention is that it should be given prior to commencement of the tenancy and if that has been done it should be the end of the matter. I cannot find anything to suggest that a new EPC obtained during the course of a tenancy needs to be copied to the tenant.

Andrew Martin Harrington

16:24 PM, 19th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by JUD KIRK at 19/02/2023 - 12:25I Suggest you review what is actually accurate. No EPC when you serve notice for them to leave- means you have not provided all the relevant documents to legally request them leaving.
I know this as - as an Energy assessor- I have to try and gain access to these properties to get the EPC done - to make up all the documents needs to le legal. You could always try this situation for yourself and see who is correct.

Seething Landlord

17:22 PM, 19th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Andrew Martin Harrington at 19/02/2023 - 16:24Perhaps you would like to refer to the legislation which is the definitive guidance. Where is it stipulated that there must be a current EPC in existence when an eviction notice is served?

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