Serving a Section 21 if EPC has expired

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    Serving a Section 21 if EPC has expired

    I served a section 21 on difficult joint tenants (partners) who are now 6 weeks in rent arrears. Over the last 12 months, rent payments have crept later every month, they property has become filthy inside and out, faults not reported, numerous unauthorised animals kept ONLY inside, police called to a domestic, various other breaches of the tenancy agreement etc etc. At start of tenancy I provided the tenants with a current EPC, along all other relevant documents. A local Authority housing officer has contacted me and stated that he will be advising the tenants to stay put as the section 21 is invalid, although a valid EPC was given prior to tenancy, it expired prior to the 21 being given. My understanding was that it is not a pre requisite that I updated the EPC, only that it was valid and provided prior to tenancy commencement. Can anyone advise? I have been advised that I am correct but would like a sencond opinion from anyone who has encountered the same problem.

    #2
    I believe you are correct. EPC only needs to be given at the start.

    Council advice might be a bluff.

    Comment


      #3
      The council officer stated that he had taken advice from Shelter.

      Comment


        #4
        There's a debate about EPCs and section 21 notice, but it isn't around this situation.

        There is an argument that if an EPC wasn't given at the start of the tenancy, it might be impossible to serve a s21 notice (and impossible to fix).
        The same situation that seems to arise with a Gas Safety Certificate.
        But no one knows for sure.

        But that's not the situation here.

        The requirement is for "a" valid EPC to be given to the tenant at the start of the tenancy.
        You did that.
        There's nothing about it remaining valid or having to be current.

        I would point that out to the council officer, because if the tenancy takes that advice they're going to have to a) lose their case and b) have to pay for it (£300 plus).
        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


          #5
          Thanks for both of reply’s. I have said pretty much the same words to the officer, who I should point out has not been at all confrontational. I was advised by my Landlords Associations senior advisor, the housing officer by Shelters legal advisor. Both have given us the same legislation. We are both sure we are correct. However, I will be the one who suffers the financial loss if I am wrong. Are you guys sure?

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            #6
            CBA replying twice to the same question.

            Comment


              #7
              Given breaches of tenancy agreement & late/missed/under rent payments sincerely hope you've served s8g10, 11 & 12 and copied to the council housing officer. If not, strongly suggest you do so TODAY! (But evict s21..)

              A tenant with arrears should get less assistance from council due to becoming "intentionally homeless".
              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...

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by FINPIC View Post
                The council officer stated that he had taken advice from Shelter.
                Phone up Shelter and ask them yourself.
                (Probably best not to tell them you're a landlord.)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Check YOUR served s21 against...
                  https://nhas.org.uk/docs/S21_flowchart.pdf
                  &
                  https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2018/10/se...th-grey-areas/
                  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...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    was the EPC valid when the tenancy became statutory periodic?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                      There is an argument that if an EPC wasn't given at the start of the tenancy, it might be impossible to serve a s21 notice (and impossible to fix).
                      The same situation that seems to arise with a Gas Safety Certificate.
                      Nah, the language used isn't the same for the GSC and the EPC. Landlords should be fine. But yeah, not relevant here.

                      Originally posted by FINPIC View Post
                      Are you guys sure?
                      No one here can be sure, since we're not the judge that's going to rule on it if and when you go to court. Having said that, read for yourself:

                      The relevant person must ensure that a valid energy performance certificate has been given free of charge to the person who ultimately becomes the buyer or tenant.
                      Was it valid when it was given to the tenant? Yes, then you're fine.
                      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                      I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks for responding. Yes it was valid when given to the tenant prior to the start of the tenancy 2 years ago and only expired 3 months ago.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by KTC View Post
                          Nah, the language used isn't the same for the GSC and the EPC. Landlords should be fine. But yeah, not relevant here.
                          I agree, but it's an argument that others have made (and which shelter are allegedly asserting here - assuming the council person hasn't misunderstood).
                          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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