Enforced Sales - EPC, is it required?

This largely relates to Andrew Lavender's really good reply about powers of entry in Enforced Sales cases. This is our first enforced sale and our property team, understandably, dont want to become mortgagee in posession until they absolutely have to be. The only thing that we seem to have to get in for is to do an EPC prior to auction. Has anyone researched this or found a way round (other than sneakily getting a warrant for a s239 under the Housing Act which I admit I dont really want to do)?

Martin Cooke, Nottm City Empty Homes

Enforced Sale

Hi Martin

It is a legal requirement to have an EPC for the property you are selling. 

The fact that it is an enforced sale does not preclude the need to provide one.

It may be worth you looking at the EPC Register to see if one has been done in the last 10 years - you may be lucky https://www.epcregister.com/reportSearchAddressByPostcode.html 

If you become a mortgagee in possession, then certain obligations follow. See https://www.ehnetwork.org.uk/forum-topic/powers-entry-enforced-sale-s103

However, if you exercise this right as close to the auction as possible i..e only have two viewing periods a week or so before the auction. This would allow people to gain access and get a better idea of the condition and you could undertake the EPC etc.

From a practical point of view assuming that the property sells in auction, you are only exposed for a period of 4- 6 weeks. So the risk is minimal. If the property did not sell in auction, then your potential liability will run for a longer period.

The LA is enforcing authority for non compliance with EPCs, so you could give an undertaking to the Auction house that they will not be prosecuted.

However, that does not put the LA in a good light - bending the rules to suit themselves.

There was also a technical argument about only having to commission an EPC rather than actaully have it - may have changed.

I would tend to try and facilitate viewings (EPC same time), so the mortgagee in possession for a short period is usually viable.

If the condition of the property was so dangerous that an inspection could not be done safely, then this may be another argument.


Andrew Lavender

Housing Training and Consultancy