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The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations came into force in April 2018, setting out the minimum ‘E’ energy performance (EPC) rating that must be achieved by all privately rented or leased residential and commercial premises.
If a rented or leased property has a valid EPC rating of E or better, it is not sub-standard and the MEES Regulations will not apply. It is important to remember that the MEES Regulations do not impose an obligation on a landlord to carry out energy efficiency improvements. The regulations simply expose the landlord to enforcement action if it grants a lease or continues to let a sub-standard property in breach of the MEES Regulations.
Plans to improve EPC ratings by 2025
The government has already indicated its intention to review the MEES Regulations. It has signalled in the Clean Growth Strategy that the sub-standard benchmark of an EPC rating of E is likely to be reviewed upwards for residential properties. It intends to consult on ways to ensure as many private rented homes as possible are increased up to an EPC band C by 2030, if not sooner.
There are even suggestions that a new regime may come in as early as 2025.
The effects of this change for landlords means improvements to properties may need to be made in order to eradicate potential enforcement action. New buyers in the rental market might need to budget for both the likely cost of works and the time needed to carry them out, to calculate the scale of lost rental income for the time it takes to carry out the remedial works and improvements. The cost of this, on top of the necessary safety and compliance certificates required to privately let property, could create ample opportunity to negotiate on purchase price!
If you are a landlord and think you may have an issue with EPC rating, or if you need assistance with any aspect of landlord and tenant law, we provide expert advice and guidance. We offer full conveyancing services for both residential and commercial property, whether you are a tenant, landlord or any other party involved in a property transaction.
The content of this post does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. The content is subject to change and we accept no liability for individuals relying on the information within this article.