Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
I have a buy to let property where the tenant asked the Council to assess the house using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). She had not raised, with me, any concerns about the condition of the house beforehand.
The Council raised a few minor points, like broken light switch, down pipe leaking onto bathroom wall resulting in a damp issue etc. They listed these as hazards and they were simple to rectify.
The Council also issued a Schedule 2 which is headed. “Remedial action which the Council considers practical and appropriate to take in respect of the hazards found.”
As there was a broken light switch they have said they are entitled to an Electrical Report by an Electrician and I am obliged to undertake all work listed even though no such report is legally required
With regard to the damp issue they require a Damp Proof Report for the whole house and a plan to undertake any works required even though no damp outside the bathroom has been detected.
I assume if there was a missing roof tile I would need to employ a roofing Company to provide a full roof report about the structure of the roof and likewise any cracking on a wall could require a full structural survey to be undertaken.
I have complained that this is a fishing expedition which was not the point of the HHSRS, but they say they are entitled to require anything they like relating to any issue found at the property.
I wonder, as this is so draconian that I would live in fear of other tenants going to the Council before approaching me, whether anybody else has experienced this problem, or has any advice how to counter the Councils approach?
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