'Wouldn't it be simpler for individuals who are at greater risk of the cold, and on low incomes, to consider the EPC before agreeing to rent a property and take responsibility for their own wellbeing?'
Jono, this unrealistic drivel is getting tiresome.
A homeless person gets one offer of housing. If they refuse it they get no housing. Can you imagine the debate if they say, oh no I'm not sure that the EPC on the unit that you have directed me to is correct so I ask that you do not treat this as a true offer. It is not credible to insist that it is the tenants' fault if the end up in a hard to heat home. Most have little choice, and even then little option to exercise it.
When you are on a limited income Jono you have to find housing where you can.
And you can not demand that the tenant negotiate a large rent reduction for the hard to heat property either. Whilst it would be reasonable for their request to be met, the reality will be that they are told 'on ya bike' and a less argumentative or richer tenant moved in.
This taking self responsibility thing has some merit, but not when taken to unrealistic levels. If the unscrupolous landlords are not compelled to provide safe, decent and affordable homes they will not do so because they are exercising their choice in their own interests Jono, not with a social conscience nor with any collective responsibility guiding their moral compass.