Government issue updated advice for Energy Assessors and EPCs (England Only)

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has today released some updated guidance which applies to people buying or selling private residential homes. This document contains a specific section for Surveyors, Energy Assessors and Energy Performance Certificates in England, which highlights that property assessments can now be undertaken within occupied homes aslong as social distancing and safety rules are followed.

This updated guidance follows the Housing Minister's announcement to unlock to housing market, with Estate and Letting Agents in England once again opening their doors, from today. It should be noted that this new development only applies to England, with the "Stay at Home" advice remaining in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the time being.

Surveyors and EPC assessors

Surveyors and EPC assessors are free to visit properties to carry out surveys. Surveyors should follow the latest government guidance for working in other people’s homes. Where surveys are carried out, all public health guidance on social distancing must be followed. Companies should ensure employees understand how to operate safely and communicate this to customers.

  • Surveyors should contact the owners of the property to be surveyed prior to the survey to make sure they understand which areas will be surveyed and ensure that all doors and access panels are open and surfaces have been cleaned with household cleaning products in line with public health advice. During a visit, members of the household should follow social distancing guidance, staying 2 metres away wherever possible, for example by staying in another room.
  • No work should be carried out by a person who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild or anyone who has been asked to self-isolate.
  • Surveyors should wash their hands immediately upon entering the property, using separate towels or paper towels which need to be washed or disposed of safely after use.
  • Surveyors should be clear in any reports about areas which they weren’t able to inspect due to public health limitations. 

Now that the government has made it permissible for professionals to enter homes for the purposes of sale in order to undertake energy assessments, Elmhurst has produced its own guidance document which covers what members will need to consider before undertaking energy assessments, in order to keep themselves, as well as any building occupants, safe. This will be sent to members in due course.

Stuart Fairlie, Technical & Operations Director at Elmhurst, states: “We listened to the Prime Minister's words at the weekend, and have reviewed the new updated guidance from MHCLG. Since the beginning of this pandemic we have stressed the importance of keeping safe and well to all of our members. We have therefore created a good practice guide for those members that will start to go back to undertaking assessments. The guidance is not prescriptive, but should be used as a basis for all our members to create their own appropriate guidelines. A personal thank you to one of our members, Chris Gowland, who took the time to email us with his thoughts about how to return safely to undertake assessments in homes when the Government stated it was safe to do so. We do hope that you find it a useful tool to help in your own risk assessments. As always Elmhurst is here to support you. Keep safe and stay well.”

Government (MHCLG) Guidance:

Further Government guidance:

Article published: 13/05/2020

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