When your rental property needs an E or above.

Yeah, more new changes for the private rental sector, but how many of you are aware of, or even ready for this one? You all know that your rental property requires an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before it can be let, but did you know that, as of 1st April 2018, if your property receives an E or below, you cannot let your property, and could receive a substantial fine.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) have been introduced to improve the energy efficiency of properties within the private rental sector. The regulation requires that all buildings in England and Wales, both domestic and non-domestic, must achieve an E rating or above on their EPC before the property can legally be leased or let.

It is believed that the E rating is just a starting point, and that the minimum requirement could be raised in the future. We are working with landlords who have properties with EPC ratings below an E to advise them on the approved changes that they can make to increase their rating. We would strongly advise those landlords whose properties are not managed by us to think about doing so.

Failure to meet the 1st April deadline could mean that if your property has an F or G rating then we would be unable to market the property. It will also affect the value of the property, and could lead to a penalty notice and fine of up to £5,000. Consideration has been given to properties of historical significance, and those situated in conservation areas, so it is worth checking to see if your property meets any of the exemption criteria.

Other exemptions include issues around third party consent, where a case can be made that any improvements could lower the value of the property, or where works will not improve the energy efficiency. Should you be a new landlord, you will be given a 6-month window to undertake the necessary works, as the government accept that it would be unreasonable to expect you to correct things immediately.

All exemptions will be listed on the PRS Exemption Register. To register an exemption you must provide detailed evidence; failure to do so will be seen as a breach of compliance with the regulation.

A full list of eligible improvements is detailed in the government’s ‘Property Minimum Standards – landlord guidance report. These include:

  • Air source heat pumps
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Draught-proofing
  • Duct insulation
  • Gas-fired condensing boilers
  • Hot water systems
  • External wall insulation systems
  • Internal wall insulation systems (for external walls)
  • Lighting systems, fittings, and controls (including rooflights, lamps and luminaires)
  • Loft or rafter insulation (including loft hatch insulation)
  • Radiant heating
  • Replacement glazing
  • Solar blinds, shutters, and shading devices
  • Under-floor heating
  • Water source heat pumps

 

To discuss how MEES affects you and your property portfolio, contact a member of our lettings team.