Painsmith Landlord and Tenant Blog

A practitioners landlord and tenant law blog from PainSmith Solicitors

EPCs and the HHSRS

We have been surprised to be told of a few cases where Local Housing Authorities are serving improvement notices under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System on landlords because they have a very poor Energy Performance Certificate rating. Presumably this is on the basis if the ‘excess cold’ hazard profile in the HHSRS. However, an EPC is a measure of the cost of heating and lighting a property and says nothing about how warm or cold that property can be. Therefore it is hard to see on what basis action is being taken.

If anyone would care to give some more information we would be grateful!

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3 Responses

  1. Sean says:

    The guidance to the HHSRS refers to use of a SAP rating in determination of excess cold. EPCs are also SAP based assessments. Low SAP means property is intrinsically ‘hard to heat’.

  2. PainSmith says:

    That is not what an EPC SAP rating means. It means that a property is expensive to heat and light. The computer model generates a figure that gives you an estimate of the cost of heating and lighting per annum. This is then converted into a rating. That does not lead to an immediate presumption that the property is prone to excess cold, it may merely be inefficient.

  3. Dan Roskilly says:

    I have found a Consultation paper recently on the CLG website titled “Making use of energy performance certificates and data”, dated March 2010.

    It states “We are currently considering whether we have the legal powers to share EPC data where it might lead to enforcement. Access to EPC data may help LAs identify properties with low energy efficiency, and in turn, dwellings that may also fall under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) definition of a ‘cold’ home (those with the lowest SAP ratings (equivalent to SAP 35 under the 2001 SAP methodology); a SAP rating under 39 equates to F and G rated properties.) LAs have existing powers to provide financial assistance and advice to, and even to compel, landlords to make improvements to homes, which can include energy efficiency measures to address excessive cold.”

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