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Updated Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) legislation

by Jack Panton on 26th November 2019
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The new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) legislation comes into effect on 1st April 2020 and affects all properties rented out as a residential property.

If your rented property does not have a registered EPC you’ll need to take action to be able to continue to rent your property after this date.

What you need to know about the new MEES legislation

  • It applies to all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST’s), Rent Act and Assured tenancies, including listed properties
  • It affects properties with an EPC rating of F or G
  • It applies even if you have previously applied for an exemption. You can apply for a new exemption in certain circumstances but the criteria may have changed

If your property is F or G rated

It became illegal in April 2018 to rent to a new tenant, renew a current tenancy or let one roll-on, unless you had a valid landlord exemption.

In April 2019 the law was revised to:

  • Remove the landlord no-cost exemption, replacing it with a £3,500 ‘spending cap.’
  • Introduce a new high-cost exemption for when none of the recommended works can be undertaken individually for under £3,500.
  • End any existing no-cost exemption on 31 March 2020.
  • Remove the consent exemption where a tenant doesn’t agree to a Green Deal or similar finance plan.

In April 2020 the next phase of legislation will come into force meaning that any residential tenancy, including those that started before 1 April 2018 that haven’t renewed or rolled-on since, must have either:

  • an EPC rated at E or above

OR

  • a valid exemption registered online.

If your property is listed

Many listed properties may be exempt from needing an EPC, however the MEES legislation is different.  Even if you have an EPC exemption, if your property is listed you need to take the following actions:

  • Instruct an EPC assessor to undertake an EPC report. Ask them not to update the EPC Register in any way, if they do you risk being obliged to do works
  • Review the EPC report and contact your local authority to discuss any works and ask if it is permitted for your listed property
  • If the works are not permitted then apply for a MEES exemption and do not register the EPC as “compliance with minimum energy performance requirements would unaaceptably alter their character or appearance”
  • If the works are permitted, follow the actions above for ‘if your property is F or G Rated’

If we don’t manage your property, you should seek further advice from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-landlord-guidance

prepared by Charlotte Balaam (Partner – Weldon Beesly)

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