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Claims against DEA and surveyor successful

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 02-Apr-09 04:12:31 PM

Just been contacted by Matthew Culnane of NHER who confirmed the previous post (Domestic Energy Assessor Sued, Allegedly), and provided some further info – Thanks Matthew.

Recently a home buyer made a claim against a DEA when it emerged that windows were identified as being double glazed on the EPC when, in fact, they were single glazed. 

The buyer submitted the claim for the cost of replacing all the windows with double glazed units on the basis that they had relied upon the information in the EPC. 

The property had also been visited by a surveyor who also inaccurately described the windows as 'double glazed' and a claim was made against this surveyor.

The claims against both the DEA and the surveyor were successful. Our insurers reached a settlement in respect of the claim and monies were paid to the home buyer.

'expensive mistake'

The DEA had to pay an excess of £250, so this was an expensive mistake for both the DEA and the insurers.

This particular property had 'replacement windows' with uPVC frames and the patio doors, which the DEA checked and noted were double glazed. Therefore, at first glance it would be very easy to assume that the rest of the property was double glazed as well; however, in this case they were not.

DEAs need to be aware of the importance of accurately identifying the characteristics of the windows. 

It is important not to assume that windows are double glazed because they have uPVC frames. If you are unsure about how to do this, please revisit the RDSAP Manual Module 5.

If a property has replacement double glazed windows, the DEA must record how he/she has determined their age. If, in your opinion, the windows date post 2002, make sure that you can substantiate this. (The same applies for post 2003 windows for Scottish EPCs and post 2006 for Northern Ireland EPCs.) 

You should record the evidence for this, i.e. a date stamp on the window, a FENSA certificate or a similar form of evidence in your site notes/record of inspection. If during the auditing process the evidence is not obvious to the Compliance Team, we will ask you to substantiate your findings. The case study in DEA Technical Bulletin Issue 5 explains this in greater detail.

We accept that it is not always easy to photograph the date stamp, so it is sufficient to note that you have seen it and record its date. You may find the FENSA website of use for further information at:


I believe NHER members will imminently receive the above in the next DEA Tech Bulletin.

Update: A few of you have contacted to ask if the DEA was struck-off.

I passed it back to NHER which said, paraphrasing, that the question is understandable but it is unable to comment on this particular case, one way or another, because of confidentiality.

To be honest, I can understand that because there are three parties involved here; and with this now becoming high profile, revealing this kind of information could serve to identify the individual.

The reply added: "I can only say that any members that are found to be in breach of our defined performance criteria are subject to our disciplinary processes."

"We can assure the energy assessor community that we take breaches seriously. Breaches can result in actions ranging from informal written warnings to a full disciplinary panel hearing, depending on the severity of the issue."

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Posts: 1
Missing the double glazing & missing the point
Reply #1 on : Thu April 16, 2009, 15:56:30
What a shame it had to come to this. Why didn't the DEA offer to rectify the mistake - go back to the property and check again.

I recently surveyed a house - and althought the UPVC frames were set up for double glazing - only the external pane of glass was there. At first I though - its a rented house and the double glazing was broken - but no every window in the house was the same.

If I have any findings that the customer disputes - I'll always go back at my cost to rectify or discuss. It should never get to a blatent dispute - however difficult the customer is.

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