A Reminder for Residential Landlords

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations (MEES Regulations) came into force on 1 April 2018 with the aim of encouraging landlords of residential and commercial property to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.

From 1 April 2020 it will be illegal for a landlord to rent a privately rented residential property with an EPC rating of “F” or “G”, even if the tenancy was granted many years ago.

If your property has an EPC rating of F or G, you only have until 1 April 2020 to improve the property rating to E, or register an exemption, if you want to continue to let it.

The MEES Regulations refer to the concept of ‘relevant energy efficiency improvements’. This is a measure, or package of measures, recommended in your EPC report, which can be purchased and installed for £3,500 or less (including VAT) – this is known as the cost cap. If you cannot improve your property to a rating of E for £3,500 or less, you should make all the improvements which can be made up to that amount, then register an ‘all improvements made’ exemption.

You are free to install any energy efficiency measure(s), but if your chosen improvements do not appear in the list of ‘recommended energy efficiency improvements’ and they fail to improve your property to an E, you will not be able to let the property or register an ‘all relevant improvements made’ exemption. You will then need to make further attempts to improve the rating to a minimum of E, in order to let the property.

If you are purchasing a property which you intend to let out where the previous owner has registered an exemption, you should note that the existing exemption will fall away because it is personal to the landlord and will not transfer on a sale. As the new owner, you will need to take steps to improve the EPC rating or register your own new exemption within 6 months of the purchase.

The MEES Regulations are enforced by local authorities, who have a range of powers to check and ensure compliance. The local authority may impose a fine of up to £5,000 per property per breach on you and details of the breach may be published on the publicly available PRS Exemptions Register.

You should ensure you know your property’s energy rating before granting any new tenancies.

MEES is a complex area so do contact us if you need to obtain legal advice on any current tenancies you have in place.

Author: Sarah Futcher