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What’s in an address?

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    Some of you will be aware that I carry a torch when it comes to the quality of the address used for lodged EPC’s. As the only identifier provided to the report users (by which I mean potential tenants or buyers of a pty, not the owner) if an address is invalid or identifies an incorrect building or simply does not clearly identify the building part to which it appertains, then the report itself is worthless and may as well be binned! As for the use of a business name as the building identifier, what’s that about? The moment the business moves out the address is invalid and the report become pointless unless of course you happen to have lived in the area for years and can remember that XYZ Ltd. occupied a particular office or factory unit.

    I’ve reached a point where I’m now using the Address Refinement option to ALWAYS provide a decent description of the assessed parts. An example might be “FAST FOOD OUTLET INCL. 1ST FLOOR DWELLING” or “RETAIL UNIT & STORAGE OVER THREE FLOORS”. With the report user firmly in mind I want to help him/her to have a clear understanding of the scope of my report without having to guess or start measuring rooms to confirm floor areas to match my report. So even when a report is for the whole of a single building I might state this so that the report user knows without doubt what the report shows.

    I will have little or no knowledge or control over how my reports are used over the next ten years and its become evident that as buildings evolve and lease demise are modified to reflect tenant needs, then it becomes more and more difficult to decide if an old report is valid or invalid and its yet another way in which we could be open to legal challenge if a future owner/tenant can show that an EPC was used to support a sale/letting when in fact it was not for all of the building parts included in that sale/letting.

    We are the originators of a document of public record and as such the legal implications are extensive and as yet unclear so shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to remove doubt and improve clarity?


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