The Government has committed to enforcing its new residential MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) in the private rental sector and commercial market.
A recent meeting between senior civil servants with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and representatives of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) confirmed that the residential MEES will come into force in April 2018, with no delay.
The RLA also noted that landlords who do nothing to comply will be in a very real risk of being fined, while it highlighted that tradespeople may be busy ahead of the deadline period.
The Technical Director of energy performance measurement specialist Elmhurst Energy, Stuart Fairlie, confirms: “The new standards have been around since April 2016, and savvy landlords have been in discussions with energy assessors on how to best meet the requirements for their properties over the past couple of years. The minimum standard of E is, for the vast majority of homes, very easily achievable, through low-cost energy efficiency improvements.
“The Government is clearly ensuring that the worst performing homes (F and G rated) are brought up to better standards, in attempt to eradicate fuel poverty. Landlords need help in deciding what is best to do; no two homes are the same and the advice of experts will really help to make this journey smoother. There are grants and schemes available to landlords, but they need to know where to look.”
Landlords must be aware of these key dates:
Since 1st April 2016: All domestic tenants have the right to request energy efficiency improvements to their properties. This applies to residential properties let under assured shorthold and regulated tenancies. Landlords are unable to reasonably refuse consent to tenants’ requests to make improvements.
1st April 2018: It will be illegal for landlords to grant new leases of residential or commercial properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below E.
1st April 2020: The residential MEES will expand to all private rental properties that are required to have an EPC.
1st April 2023: This will then be extended to include all existing commercial leases.
Elmhurst Energy notes that many in the commercial sector have been preparing for these changes, understanding the risks of having F and G rated properties on their books, and either making the necessary improvements or selling them on.
In the residential sector, however, the picture is very different, with many landlords either not knowing about the changes or yet to take the necessary action.
To comply with the residential MEES, landlords must:
- Obtain up-to-date EPCs for their properties, especially if they are old or out of date.
- Seek advice if necessary.
- Put a plan of action together to meet the requirements ahead of the April 2018 deadline.
Have you started preparing for the residential MEES yet?