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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) for Landlords 

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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) compliance

On 24 May 2021, the Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) invited English and Welsh local authorities to apply for funding to support them in enforcing the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations. 

If a local authority believes a landlord has failed to fulfil their obligations under the MEES Regulations, they can serve the landlord with a compliance notice. If a breach is confirmed, the landlord may receive a financial penalty of up to £5,000 per property.

What are the MEES Regulations and how do they impact landlords? 

The ‘Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (the MEES Regulations)’ introduced a minimum energy efficiency standard of EPC E for the private rented sector (PRS). 

Since 1 April 2020, landlords can no longer let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES Regulations if they have an EPC rating below E, unless they have a valid exemption in place.

Find out if your property is covered by the Regulations 

The Domestic MEES Regulations apply to all domestic private rented properties that are let on an assured tenancy, a regulated tenancy or a domestic agricultural tenancy and are legally required to have an EPC – usually the case if the property you let has been marketed for sale or let, or modified, in the past 10 years. 

If you are currently planning to let a property with an EPC rating of F or G, you need to improve the property’s rating to E, or register an exemption, before you enter into a new tenancy. 

If you are currently letting a property with an EPC rating of F or G, and you haven’t already taken action, you must improve the property’s rating to E immediately, or register an exemption.  

If your property is currently empty, and you are not planning to let it, you don’t need to take any action to improve its rating until you decide to let it again.

Funding improvements to your property

The cost cap: you are not required to spend more than £3,500 (including VAT) on energy efficiency improvements. 

If you cannot improve your property to EPC E for £3,500 or less, you should make all the improvements which can be made up to that amount, then register an ‘all improvements made’ exemption.

Registering an exemption

There are various exemptions that apply to the prohibition on letting a property with an energy efficiency rating below E. 

If your property meets the criteria for any of the exemptions, you will be able to let it once you have registered the exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register. Exemptions are valid for five years except for ‘Temporary exemption due to recently becoming a landlord’ which covers some circumstances and is valid for six months.

Exemptions include: 

‘All relevant improvements made’ exemption

Register this exemption if the property is still below EPC E after improvements have been made up to the cost cap (£3,500 including VAT), or there are none that can be made.

‘High cost’ exemption

Register this exemption if no improvement can be made because the cost of installing even the cheapest recommended measure would exceed £3,500 (including VAT).

Wall insulation exemption 

Register this exemption if the only relevant improvements for your property are cavity wall insulation, external wall insulation or internal wall insulation (for external walls) and you have obtained written expert advice showing that these measures would negatively impact the fabric or structure of the property (or the building of which it is part). 

Third-party consent exemption 

Register this exemption if the relevant improvements for your property need consent from another party, such as a tenant, superior landlord, mortgagee, freeholder or planning department, and despite your best efforts that consent cannot be obtained, or is given subject to conditions you could not reasonably comply with. 

Property devaluation exemption 

Register this exemption if you have evidence showing that making energy efficiency improvements to your property would devalue it by more than 5%. In order to register this exemption you will need a report from an independent surveyor registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. 

For more landlord guidance on the Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency’ standard (EPC band E) visit the Gov.uk website

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