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Updates to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Scheme Regulations (MEES) 01 April 2020

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Updates to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Scheme Regulations (MEES) 01 April 2020

From today, many residential landlords across England and Wales will be affected by changes to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Scheme Regulations (MEES).

Since the 1st April 2018, in accordance with MEES, Landlords across England and Wales have had to ensure that new tenancies on properties requiring an EPC have reached a minimum rating of ‘E’ or above.

From the 1st April 2020, this regulation no longer applies only to new tenancies, but will also apply to all tenancies across England and Wales, irrespective of when the lease was granted – unless the property is subject to a registered exemption.

If an EPC rating falls in the ‘F’ or ‘G’ bands, landlords of residential properties are obliged to carry out works up to a cost of £3,500 (the MEES ‘cost cap’) in order to improve a rating to at least an ‘E’.

What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) indicates the level of energy efficiency for a particular property; from ‘A’ being the most energy efficient, to ‘G’ being the most inefficient. EPCs are a legal requirement for properties being let.

Exemptions

A landlord can register an exemption if applicable, typically one of the following may apply:

  • ‘High Cost’ Exemption – Applicable to circumstances where the cost to carry out the cheapest improvement is higher than the £3,500 cost cap;
  • ‘All Improvements Made’ Exemption – Applicable to circumstances where all possible improvements under the £3,500 cost cap have been made, but the EPC band remains at ‘F’ or ‘G’;
  • ‘Consent’ Exemption – Applicable to circumstances where third party consent may be required in order to carry out works, but cannot be obtained.

Any landlord who wishes to register an exemption must do so using the online exemptions register. Many of these exemptions can last for up to 5 years, with the possibility of renewal if still deemed necessary.

More details on these exemptions and what is required to register them, can be found here: 

Penalties

A landlord renting a non compliant property may be fined up to £5,000.00.

Whilst these changes are applicable from today, landlords should also note the plans being made by the UK government to improve energy efficiency in housing in the not-so-distant future. It is largely thought that properties will be expected to reach a minimum ‘C’ rating by 2030, and possibly higher in the years following that.

Jenny Woodruff

Posted:

Jenny Woodruff

Partner

Jenny is a Partner and head of the Residential Conveyancing Team. She has extensive knowledge of the conveyancing process, including: dealing with freehold and leasehold sales & purchases; new build purchases; remortgages; transfers of equity; shared ownership; help to buy transactions & general property advice.