Landlords and tenants, do you know about the new minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) that come into force on April 1st 2018? This means landlords and buildings that fall under the regulations can’t renew existing tenancies or let new tenancies if their building has an EPC rating of F or G.
We’ll explain in more detail about what this means for you and what you can do if you need to improve your property so that it meets the new minimum energy efficiency standards.
What Is The New Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard?
The Energy Performance Certificate is on a scale from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. From April 1st 2018, any property that is rented out under the Private Rental Sector, has to have an EPC rating of E or higher to comply with the new law. This rating applies to new lets and renewals of tenancies from April 1st 2018.
When Does The New Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Apply?
The new standard applies in the following circumstances.
- You let your property to new tenants on or after April 1st
- If your EPC has expired and is older than 10 years old.
If you have existing tenants in your property on a long term let on April 1st 2018, you won’t have to worry about your EPC rating straight away. However, on April 1st 2020, you will have to ensure your property is compliant with the new minimum energy efficiency standard if the same tenants are still in your property. If the tenants leave the property before this date then you have to make sure your property is compliant when letting the property to a new tenant as stated above.
What Can I Do To Improve The Energy Efficiency Of My Property?
There are a few things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your property. Whether it’s to meet the new minimum energy efficiency standard, help your tenants save money on energy bills, or help the environment out a little, the following tips may help.
Put insulation in your roof which needs to be a minimum depth of 270mm to comply with standards for newer buildings. This depth may be less if you have an older property, however, the thicker the insulation you can fit in your roof, the better!
Also replacing any electrical items with more efficient EPC ratings can improve your overall property EPC. Replacing halogen light bulbs with LEDs or compact fluorescent lights can do this too. Other amendments can include replacing your thermostat or boiler and making sure your windows are efficiently insulating your house.
Any EPC will have feedback on how you can improve your rating – you can check yours online.
What Happens If My Property Doesn’t Meet The New Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard?
If your property is an F or a G rating on the EPC on 1st April 2018, you won’t be able to let your property and could be fined a maximum of £5000 if you do so. Don’t forget, if you have an existing tenancy in place, you won’t have to worry about meeting the new minimum energy efficiency until you get a new tenant in the property or the existing tenants renew their tenancy agreement. In certain circumstances, you can apply for an exemption which will mean your property doesn’t have to comply but this exemption only lasts for 5 years.
When Can I Apply For An Exemption?
You can apply for an exemption to the minimum energy efficiency standard in the following circumstances:
- When you can prove that you’ve undertaken the necessary cost-effective improvements to improve your EPC but the building still remains below an E rating. You can read more about the cost-effective measures in the Green Deal’s Golden Rule.
- If the landlord requires consent from the tenant to carry out any improvements and the tenants are withholding that consent.
- If an independent surveyor deems your property to be devalued by more than 5% should after all energy efficiency improvements have been made.
Let us know if you have any questions about the new minimum energy efficiency standards by coming into the Parklane Properties office.
This post was written by Emma Hart