Part of our job here at Haboth is keeping everyone (landlords and tenants) up to date with the latest laws, rules and regulations and April will see an important change concerned with a property’s energy performance. At present it is unlawful to advertise a property for rent (or sale) without a valid EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). The EPC is nothing new, anyone renting, buying or selling a property in the last decade will be familiar with an EPC, the indicator of a properties energy efficiency ranked from A-G, which is valid for 10 years.
So What is MEES?
From April 1st 2018 however, we will see the introduction of MEES or Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards. This will require any properties being let from this date to have an EPC rating no lower than an E, this not only includes new tenancies but also any tenancy renewals, extensions or when a statutory periodic tenancy comes in to effect. From April 1st 2020 ALL rental properties must have an EPC rating of E or above and those that do not will need to be brought up to the required level, a civil penalty of £4,000 will be imposed for breaches
Are there any exemptions?
In short yes there are but it should be seen as a very last resort and in the following instances, a landlord can apply for an exemption:
- They have undertaken those improvements which are cost effective but the EPC rating remains low.
- Where they are unable to obtain funding via the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Green Deal Finance or local authority grants.
- The tenant denies access to the landlord in order that the improvements can be made.
- If evidence from a professional (e.g. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) can be produced that the proposed improvements will devalue the property by more than 5%.
- There will be no requirement for wall insulation, where verified by an independent body (e.g. installer) that the installation of any insulation will have a negative impact o the fabric of the building.
The RLA has more information on exemptions, exclusions and enforcement here.
What Should I do next?
Well the first thing you need to do is check your EPC, your letting agent should have a copy or if you are a private landlord a copy of your property’s EPC can be found here, and make sure that the rating is at least an E, if this is the case you need take no further action. If it is an F or G rated property then you will need to take the appropriate measures to bring it up to the required standard. Each EPC will also provide you with a potential rating alongside the current one. Just below the rating is a list of the top three actions you can take to improve the rating (some of these are available with Green Deal) and finally each element of energy efficiency such as lighting, heating, insulation is given a rating out of five so you can see exactly where your property falls short, thus allowing you to take the necessary whilst consulting with an EPC provider such as Nationwide EPC.
If you have any questions about whether your property is ready for the change, please contact us on 0333 012 4895