New landlord energy rules

New landlord energy rules

From 1st April 2018 it will become unlawful to let properties in England and Wales that fall below a new ‘Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard’ (MEES).

The Energy Act 2011 featured various provisions aimed at reducing the UK’s carbon footprint. This included several measures to improve the energy efficiency of properties. New builds have been subject to increased energy efficiency standards for a number of years. It is now time for similar rules to be introduced on existing properties.

Following several years of consultation, the new MEES, has now been confirmed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). From 1 April 2018 properties will need to achieve a minimum of an ‘E’ rating on their energy performance certificate (EPC).

Are there any exemptions?

Virtually all properties built, sold or leased since 2008 require an EPC and will be affected by the upcoming MEES. However, certain exemptions do exist for buildings that are, for example:

  • Listed or officially protected, and energy efficiency improvements would unacceptably alter them
  • An industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that uses little energy
  • A temporary structure due to be used for two years or less
  • Long-term vacant, or due to be demolished

However, EPC exemptions can be complex and subject to certain discretions from local authorities. Therefore, always seek direction from specialist energy performance consultants or local authority to determine how the property will be affected by MEES.

What can you do now?

There are a couple of things you can start to do now to make sure your properties meet these new standards for when the rule comes in:

  • Audit properties – it is thought that a whopping quarter to a third of properties are currently at risk of falling below the minimum standard.
  • Plan any energy efficiency works – this is so you can search around for the best price, as well as giving you a chance of planning the works at the right time, for example if you are expecting a void period in your building.

Auditing and upgrading properties can take significant time, so it is important that you act now to ensure compliance. Also, whilst this current rise is to an E rating, it is important to note that the minimum standard could rise in future.

If you would like more information on the new landlord energy rules, or would like to know how we can help you, call us on 01789 761 660.

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