Changes to Energy Performance Requirements Affecting Residential Lettings

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) was introduced into the private rented residential sector across England and Wales from 1 April 2018.

Landlords will breach the MEES if they grant a new tenancy over a residential property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G. For all existing tenancies (i.e. those which started prior to 1 April 2018), landlords will also be in breach if they continue to let the property with an EPC rating of F or G after 1 April 2020.

Therefore, from 1 April 2020, all tenancies, including Assured Shorthold Tenancies, Assured Tenancies and Regulated Tenancies, will be affected by the MEES and you should ensure that your residential lettings have an EPC rating of E or above to ensure that you do not fall foul.

There are certain exemptions to the requirement to meet the MEES, for example the expense to the landlord of the improvements necessary to increase the property’s EPC rating or the impact such improvements would have on the property. Landlords can find more information on the possible exemptions and register a property for an exemption through the Government website.

Failure to comply with the relevant legislation can lead to landlords incurring fines of up to £2,000 for letting a non-compliant property for less than 3 months or up to £4,000 for letting a non-compliant property for 3 months or more. Fines up to £1,000 may also be imposed for providing false or misleading information when registering for exemptions.