As the Government’s new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for private rental properties approaches, we’re reminding all landlords to get to work on improving their properties’ energy efficiency.
As you will hopefully be aware, from 1st April 2018, the Government’s new MEES will make it illegal for landlords to grant new leases (even to existing tenants) on properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G. This means that your property must have an EPC rating of E or above by that date.
You must also be aware that, as of 1st April 2020, the MEES will apply to all tenancies, even those you have with existing tenants.
It is believed that one in ten residential properties currently have an EPC rating of F or G, so it is essential that you check your EPC or order a new one, to determine whether improvements must be made to your property.
If you do not comply with the MEES, you may be subject to a civil penalty of up to £4,000, so it’s vital that you ensure that your properties meet the requirements.
However, you may find that your property is exempt from the new, higher energy efficiency standards. See guidance from the Government on whether your properties will be exempt here.
If you do find that your property’s current EPC rating is below E, you should begin making a plan to improve its energy efficiency before the new MEES come into force. Any works that are required must be implemented before 1st April 2018 if you wish to grant a new lease on the property after this date.
You will find recommendations on your EPC of how to improve your property’s energy efficiency, but here are a few points to consider, to help you make a plan before April comes around:
- Make sure the property has the right insulation, including on your hot water cylinder.
- Consider double-glazing or even triple-glazing.
- Change all of the light bulbs from standard to LED.
- Add a programmer or room thermostat.
Remember that, if you fail to comply with the new energy efficiency standards, it will be illegal for you to grant a new lease on your property – get to work!