New Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) have been introduced
MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) were implemented on 1st April 2018, which means landlords must ensure their buy-to-let meets minimum standards.
What are the Minimum Efficiency Energy Standards (MEES)?
The legislation will require any private rented properties to have a minimum energy performance rating of E, with the scale running from A at the most efficient to G as the least. The 1st of April 2018 deadline applies to all new and renewed tenancies, whilst existing tenancies must be up to scratch by 1st of April 2020.
Currently, EPC’s (Energy Performance Certificates) offer suggested improvements to increase the rating for the property. They vary in cost, from small improvements such as double glazing to larger financial outlays for cavity wall insulation.
What are the penalties for landlords who are not compliant?
The penalty for renting out a property with an F or G rating will be a £4000 fine. It will be unlawful to rent out a property with a rating less than E, leaving some landlords at risk of not being able to rent their property out until improvements are made to meet the minimum standards.
There are some exemptions but they must be notified with the PRS Exemptions Register, they include:
Buildings and monuments officially protected as part of a designated environment and where meeting minimum efficiency standard would unacceptably alter their character or appearance. This includes listed buildings, although the guidance is a little more complicated and you can find more detailed information here.
Temporary buildings with a planned timed use of 2 years or less
Residential buildings which are intended to be used less than 4 months of the year
Stand-alone buildings with a total usable floor area of less than 50 square meters
Which tenancies do MEES apply to?
The MEES regulation applies to the following:
A new assured or assured shorthold tenancy
A renewed or extended tenancy
A statutory periodic tenancy following the end of a fixed term
In addition, there has been research into EPCs that found the thermal efficiency of solid walls had been understated. The government are proposing to reassess how EPCs are conducted to give a truer reading in light of this. This may mean that F or G rated properties with solid walls require less or no work at all. The regulations have not yet been amended to include these changes and landlords with solid wall properties rated F or G should seek advice.