Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations were recently updated on 1 April 2019. The changes have put a greater onus on landlords who own and let domestic properties to potentially fund energy efficiency improvements in order to meet the minimum standards. It represents a big change for Landlords and Property Management Agents. ALL domestic rental properties MUST have an EPC of E or better by the backstop date of 1 April 2020.
Under MEES Regulations, domestic properties in the private rented sector must meet a minimum requirement of EPC band E in order to be let. Where a property falls beneath these requirements, domestic landlords can either seek third party funding for energy efficiency improvements or cover the costs themselves. There is a spending cap of £3,500 (incl VAT) for each property (applied to the overall improvement costs).
MEES Regulations – or The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 – used to allow landlords to register an exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register. This was covered by the ‘no cost to landlords' provision for any landlords unable to make the necessary energy efficiency improvements without incurring a personal cost. The updated guidance has removed this provision entirely, meaning landlords must either seek third party funding or grants; or fund the improvements themselves. For domestic landlords who had already registered a ‘no cost to landlords’ exemption on the register, prior to 1 April 2019, the exemption period will also reduce from the original five years. Domestic landlords must instead carry out the necessary energy efficiency improvements by April next year.
It gives landlords a year to ensure that ALL properties they are responsible for meet the MEES standard or that they register a new exemption on the PRS register.
"Stroma Certification believes that this will result in another growth area of work for DEAs. Landlords and Agents will more than likely need to revisit and review ratings and replace existing EPCs following upgrades. They will also need to raise new exemptions once work is completed and the property still remains substandard.
Stroma RSAP+ software allows members to produce draft EPCs and run scenarios for upgrades for no fee and is therefore ideal for this kind of work. It works online and offline, on Windows, iOS and Android. Download it today from the App store on your device. If you are not yet a Stroma DEA Member, you can apply for free on our website."
Sam Cantle, Technical Manager, Stroma Certification
Stroma Certification offers a Domestic MEES Training course for energy assessors, landlords and managing agents. Book your one-day course and gain vital MEES CPD via our website.