Richard Hamilton – Head of the Property team at Davis Blank Furniss – on the MEES Regulations and domestic property.

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What are the MEES regulations?

The Energy Efficiency Regulations are designed to tackle the least energy-efficient properties in England and Wales – being those rated F or G on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The MEES regulations restrict landlords of domestic property from granting tenancies for properties which fall below the minimum energy efficiency standard. Landlords will also be prohibited from continuing pre-existing tenancies, after 1st April 2020 if the property falls below this standard.

How will tenants benefit from the Regulations?

An energy efficient home will reduce the cost of energy bills for tenants; and in particular the elderly and vulnerable during the winter months. Properties falling below the energy-efficiency standard contribute to avoidable greenhouse gas emissions, therefore increasing the energy efficiency of properties would go some way in counteracting this problem.

What are the benefits for landlords?

Energy efficient residential properties can reduce the long term maintenance costs for landlords as well as reducing the number void periods. Tenants will be more attracted to energy efficient homes, which will inevitably improve the marketability of the property.

What do I need to know as a landlord of a relevant domestic property?

  1. From the 1st April 2018 you may not grant a tenancy to new or existing tenants if your property has an EPC rating of band F or G; and
  2. From the 1st April 2020, you must not continue letting a relevant domestic property which is already let if that property has an EPC rating of band F or G.

What are the implications if I fall foul of the regulations?

The relevant Local Authority may issue a compliance notice requesting further information where they suspect that a property has been let in breach of the Regulations. If the Local Authority find that you are in breach of the regulations, they may serve a notice imposing financial penalties.

Could I be exempt from the regulations?

Yes. Landlords can be exempt in situations where they are either unable to obtain funding to cover the cost of making improvements; or where the improvements which can be made have already been made, and the property remains below an EPC rating of band E.

Remember, where an exemption is claimed, it must be entered on the PRS Exemptions Register.

What practical things could I do to avoid being in breach of the regulations?

  1. Conduct an audit of your properties to identify which properties fall below the energy efficiency standard
  2. Ensure the EPC assessments for each property are correct
  3. Draw up a list of actions to achieve the minimum required standards
If you require further information regarding the regulations and how they affect you as the landlord of a domestic property(ies), please contact a member of the Davis Blank Furniss Property team
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