EPC deadline

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    EPC deadline

    What will happen if assured tenants are still paying a landlord rent for a house with an EPC rated as an F on 1 April 2020? As assured tenants can't be evicted using a Section 21 order and the landlord can't legally rent out a sub-standard house after 1 April is the landlord prevented from evicting the tenants at all until the situation has been rectified?

    #2
    The aim of the legislation is to improve the property, not to remove it from the market. You will be fined for non-compliance.

    Note there is a limit to how much you can be required to spend, after which you can get a five year exemption. You can also get an exemption of the tenant refuses to allow access to do the improvements.

    It should cost you less to have the minimum required work done than to be fined.

    The time to ask this question was two years ago!

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      #3
      Thanks, I'm one of the tenants, not the landlord. I want to know if the landlord will be prevented from issuing an eviction order under Section 8 for their EPC non-compliance.

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        #4
        Is this not a disrepair issue?

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          #5
          LLs cannot use the lack of an E rated EPC as a means to evict. I would speak to your LL and ask what measures they intend to undertake.

          If the cost of bringing the property unto an E is more than £3000 they can apply for an exemption otherwise you can report them & they will be forced to do the work or be fined - this course of action would not enhance tenant-LL relations!

          You should have a copy of the EPC (if not you can find it online at the EPC Register) and the report will have recommendations for improving the EC rating. This might be useful information - sometimes all you need is some loft insulation & LED light bulbs!

          Good luck

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            #6
            Thanks for your reply. I didn't think the LL could evict while they are in breach of prescribed regulations. Just wanted to confirm it.

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              #7
              Ultimately it will be up to THAT PARTICULAR judge at the hearing on that particular s8 case with whatever evidence to provided, or not, by either party.

              We don't know what evidence you or landlord would supply, either, or which grounds he might use
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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                #8
                £3,500 not £3,000 incidentally...…...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Snakey View Post
                  Thanks for your reply. I didn't think the LL could evict while they are in breach of prescribed regulations. Just wanted to confirm it.
                  The landlord cannot evict if they are in breach of the regulations about supplying the prescribed documentation, but not meeting the required standard isn't one of those requirements, so the landlord would be able to use the s21 process to evict you.

                  After April 1st the landlord can be fined for letting the property if it has an EPC rating of F and runs the risk of the local authority issuing an improvement notice to get it to the required standard (or get an exemption) which would prevent the landlord using a s21 notice.

                  Either way, as tenants you need to find somewhere else to live.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    but not meeting the required standard isn't one of those requirements, so the landlord would be able to use the s21 process to evict you.
                    As I stated in my opening post, it's an assured tenancy, not a shorthold. Why would the LL be able to use a Section 21 for a tenancy that is not an AST?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                      Ultimately it will be up to THAT PARTICULAR judge at the hearing on that particular s8 case with whatever evidence to provided, or not, by either party.

                      We don't know what evidence you or landlord would supply, either, or which grounds he might use
                      True. Facts - there are no rent arrears (and never have been) and we are not in breach of the tenancy agreement as far as I know.. The tenancy is an AT. She thinks it's an AST, but it's not. I asked for an EPC to be done last January and the LL refused. I have a disability and the cold affects it quite badly. There is only 1 gas fire in the entire house. 6 months after I asked for the EPC she got one done but only in order to sell her house, not to upgrade the property. She sent an invalid notice to quit on the day the report was commissioned, before she even knew that the result would be an F. She then sent another NTQ after that. We have ignored both of them. On 1 April she will be in breach of the MEES regulations.

                      I understand why the LL wants to sell up - the property would fail an environmental health inspection and she doesn't want to upgrade it to an E or rent it out anymore. The current LL is elderly and I've given her a lot of leeway on that front but her illegal NTQ really was the last straw. It's not as if she can't afford to consult a solicitor and do it properly. I would be very interested to see what ANY PARTICULAR Judge makes of a LL who acts in this manner.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Can I ask why you believe the tenancy is an Assured Tenancy (I believe you, they're just unusual in residential lets)?
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          An assured tenancy can be by way of successor to a letting under the Rent Acts or even as successor to an interim type of tenancy from the early 80s called a protected shorthold. Another possible cicrcumstance for a tenancy to be an assured tenancy is at expiry of a long lease with the occupiers staying in situ, but of course this is incredibly rare. There was a time when Assured Tenancies were being granted, ie without notice of a "shorthold" notice, or with a defective shorthold notice. An assured tenancy could also exist in relation to a person holding as successor to a service tenancy; ie where the tenant remains in occupation after employment has ended of accommodation originally provided for better performance of the employment. such as a staff flat attached to premises.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                            Can I ask why you believe the tenancy is an Assured Tenancy (I believe you, they're just unusual in residential lets)?
                            Ok, the first tenancy was in a different house (from 1985 to 1991) on what appears to have been a protected shorthold. The tenant (my husband) moved from that property into a new property with the same landlord in November 1991. There was no signed tenancy agreement until June 1993. It was backdated to November 1992 which indicates that there was no TA between November 1991 and June 1993. The 1993 TA says "AST" on the front, for a 'furnished dwelling' (it's never been furnished unless that means furnished by the tenant lol) and there is a handwritten note (LL's handwriting) referring to a "notice". The "notice" is a Housing Act 1988 Section 20 (5) notice signed by the LL on 29 May 1993 stating that the tenancy was not to be an AST and that no successive tenancy was to be an AST. Under the HA 1988 all periodic shortholds were abolished, so the only other type of tenancy it could be, if it wasn't to be an AST, was surely an AT?

                            I was added to a new tenancy agreement in 2010 (5 years after I moved in and 2 years after we got married). Same original LL, same original tenant but LL's wife was added as joint LL too. The 2010 TA is for an AST in a 'furnished dwelling' (apparently a cooker and a table with 4 chairs is furnished). No notice was served on the original LL stating that my hubby wanted a less secure tenancy after being granted a more secure one in 1993. We didn't know, at the time, that the tenancy couldn't be an AST. I requested a longer notice of 3 months and not the usual 2 because I knew we'd have difficulties with a shorter notice period under Section 21. I can't prove that the LL wanted to undermine my inheritance rights in 2010, but at the very least it can be inferred that his actions were not reasonable in light of the Section 20 (5) notice he'd signed in 1993 stating that no successive tenancy could be an AST if my hubby was still his tenant. I was told by a council Housing Officer that the tenancy is an AT. I've looked at the HA 1988 and as there was no notice served in November 1991 stating that the tenancy was to be an AST then it's an AT,

                            The original LL died in July 2011. The property was put into the wife's name after the probate went through. I don't know if the property was only in her husband's name prior to his death or in both their names. The tenancy went periodic in November 2011. The surviving LL has not set foot in the property since the TA was signed in November 2010 nor has she sent a representative to check the state of the property. She's done the bare minimum required - gas check, basically, which I book so that she doesn't have to bother. In the 2 emails she sent last July and August she terminates the tenancy quoting the "terms" of a "gentleman's agreement". She thinks our tenancy will end on 1 August 2020 simply because she says it will.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              First of all, thanks for typing all of that - really helpful.

                              I have a feeling that some of what you say could be challenged (I'm not saying you're wrong, though - just that some of it isn't as clear as it might be).

                              There's possibly an issue with the change of house in 1991. When a court orders an evicition under the rent act rules on the basis that suitable alternative accomodation is available, they will normally order that the new tenancy is also a regulated tenancy. I am not sure what happens if the landlord and tenant make their own arrangements. It's possible that there was a new tenancy in 1991 (which wouldn't then be covered by the Rent Act.)

                              If a tenancy agreement explicitly says that it isn't an AST, it shouldn't be one, so the agreement in 1993 (backdated to 1992) probably wasn't an AST. I don't think that it's possible for that to be carried forward, though, so it depends on what the new tenancy agreements say about whether they're ASTs or not - or it's possible a court will agree that the term is carried forward as that might clearly have been in the minds of the people making the agreement.

                              Whether that survives the addition of other joint parties, I can't even guess.

                              Whatever the tenancy type, the landlord doesn't seem to have served valid notice.
                              If it's regulated, they'd have to give you grounds (and a gentleman's agreement isn't one!)
                              If it's actually an Assured Tenancy, it would have to be notice under s8 (and the same issue is there with the grounds).
                              If it's actually an AST, notice could be served under s21, but the notice would have to say so.

                              But, whatever the outcome, you've got one heck of a legal textbook chapter!

                              But at least I think I can answer your original question (because i don't think the answer depends on your tenancy status).
                              The failure to meet the EPC minimum standards doesn't affect the landlord's ability to serve notice.

                              The landlord can register the property as exempt from the minimum requirement if the property would cost more than £3,500 to bring up to the minimum.

                              The landlord can simply do nothing unless the local authority raise the issue and issue a notice (and probably a fine). Then they can either do the required work, get an exemption or try and evict.

                              If the council improvement notice is sufficiently severe, the improvement notice may remove the possibility of using s21 (if that notice was possible).

                              You'll have the same issue with the requirements for an electrical test certificate next year - because a property where minimal maintenance has been carried out for 20 odd years isn't likely to pass such a test.
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

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