Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Regulations for all rental properties

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Regulations for all rental properties

This article was published on: 27th March 2020

As of Wednesday 1 April, the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEEs) Regulations come into effect for all rental properties.

Under the MEEs Regulations, for the past 2 years any new tenancies or tenancy renewals of private rented properties must have an “E” Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating. This will now apply to all tenancies, including periodic, where there are tenants in situ.

The MEEs Regulations state that it will be unlawful to rent a property, regardless of whether it is a new tenancy, a renewal or an existing tenancy which breaches the requirement to have a minimum E rated EPC. The landlord must carry out work to bring their EPC to an E or above unless they have an applicable exemption.

Examples of some of the applicable exemptions are as follows:

  • High cost – the prohibition to renting the property doesn’t apply if the cost of making even the cheapest recommended improvement exceeds £3,500 including VAT.
  • 7 year payback – the recommended measure isn’t a ‘relevant energy efficiency improvement’ because the cost of purchasing and installing doesn’t meet the 7 year payback test (applies to commercial property) under Regulation 28 (3).
  • All improvements made – where all of the relevant energy efficiency improvements have been made (or there are none that can be made) and the property still remains sub-standard under Regulation 25.
  • Devaluation – if a RICS certified surveyor provides a report which confirms that installing recommended measures would reduce the market value of the property/building the property forms part of by more than 5%, under Regulation 32(1) and 36(2).
  • The exemptions available are fairly strict. They cannot be relied upon unless registered and are made on a self-certification basis. They will then apply from the point at which they are registered.

The exemptions available are fairly strict. They cannot be relied upon unless registered and are made on a self-certification basis. They will then apply from the point at which they are registered.

Author: Rebecca Parker, Paralegal

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