The countdown is on for landlords to comply with new legal standards for minimum energy efficiency in commercial and residential privately-rented properties. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will come into force in England and Wales from April this year.
From this date it will be unlawful to grant new leases, or renew tenant leases, of residential or commercial property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of less than E unless registered as an exemption.
In practice, this will mean that landlords renting any property from April with an EPC rating of F or G will need to carry out works to improve the energy performance rating to E or above. Failure to do so can result in a fine as local authorities will be able to impose civil penalties for non-compliance based on the property’s rateable value.
The penalty for renting out a property for a period of fewer than three months in breach of MEES regulations will be equivalent to 10% of the property’s rateable value, subject to a minimum penalty of £5,000 and a maximum of £50,000. After three months, the penalty rises to 20% of the rateable value, with a minimum penalty of £10,000 and a maximum of £150,000.
Key dates below underline when the regulations will be enforced, with the regulation scope expanding over a 5 year period:
1 April 2018 – It will be unlawful to grant new leases of residential or commercial property with an EPC rating below an ‘E’.
1 April 2020 – the regulation will expand to apply to ALL residential privately rented property which are required to have an EPC.
1 April 2023 – This will be extended to include ALL existing commercial leases.
Please contact a member of our energy consultancy team if you wish to discuss MEES and understand the implications for your property.