On the 1st April 2020 there will be a change to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards or MEES for domestic landlords.
Under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property for England and Wales) Regulations 2015, from the 1st April 2018, it became unlawful to let out domestic properties which have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G – to new tenants or a renewal lease to an existing tenant.
This will extend to all privately rented properties from 1st April 2020 – regardless of granting a new lease or lease renewals. The April 2020 deadline will apply to all landlords with private tenants.
A landlord may be exempt from these regulations in certain circumstances. These exemptions are;
All exemptions generally last 5 years but often end if circumstances change during that period. However, there is one temporary exemption for those who have recently become landlords, which is limited to 6 months.
Penalties can be incurred if landlords infringe on the MEES and regulations. Fines of up to £5,000 can be enforced, depending on the type of infringement and the length of non-compliance. A tenant can raise a case with the First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber if they feel a landlord is non-compliant.
A landlord may be required to undertake permissible, appropriate and cost-effective improvements to their properties, unless they are exempt, for the reasons stated above. Tenants have the right to request reasonable and cost-effective improvements to their properties.
Landlords who haven’t yet had to comply with MEES as their tenants or tenancy terms have not changed, will soon need to act.
Stroma members should speak with their clients – Landlords and Managing Agents – to discuss the backstop date of 1st April 2020, so that they can be prepared.
It is recommended that they undertake an EPC to qualify the current rating prior to April 2020, so that they have time to make improvements or register exemptions.