29 Mar 2021
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.
Said Phil Turtle, Compliance Director at Landlord Licensing & Defence, “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 hosing 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,” it’s 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.