Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
The government has made the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/595) (the Amendment Regulations).
The Amendment Regulations amend the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/962) (the MEES Regulations) and come into force on 1 April 2019.
The Amendment Regulations follow the government’s response to its consultation and the draft regulations published last year.
The Amendment Regulations make detailed amendments to the MEES Regulations. The majority of the amendments relate to domestic PR property, although one change applies to both domestic and non-domestic PR property (see the final bullet point below). Broadly, the Amendment Regulations are designed to:
- Remove the “no cost to the landlord” principle in relation to sub-standard domestic PR property and replace it with a capped landlord contribution of £3,500 (including value added tax). The landlord will be entitled to include in this cap any investment in energy efficiency made to the property since October 2017, as well as any available third-party funding.
- Establish a new “high cost” exemption to be available where a sub-standard domestic PR property cannot be improved to an energy performance certificate of E for £3,500 or less. A landlord must submit three installer quotes to register a “high cost” exemption.
- Curtail the validity of any existing “no cost to the landlord” exemptions, by providing that such exemptions will now expire on 1 April 2020, rather than run for the five year period from the date of registration, as originally provided. It is arguable that the drafting of the Amendment Regulations does not achieve this aim in all cases.
- Remove the consent exemption currently available under regulation 31(1)(a)(ii) of the MEES Regulations, where a tenant of a domestic PR property has withheld consent to a Green Deal Finance plan.
- Provide that when a landlord has registered an exemption under regulation 31(1)(a) or 31(1A)(a) of the MEES Regulations (as amended) (broadly, where the tenant does not consent to an improvement), a landlord will be unable to rely on that exemption “once that tenant’s tenancy has come to an end”. It is unclear what this wording means and in particular how it applies to renewals or assignments.