The MEES were introduced earlier this year by the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (the “Regulations”). As part of the Regulations, from 1 April 2018 landlords of buildings within the scope of the Regulations must not grant or renew existing tenancies if the building has less than the prescribed minimum energy performance certificate rating of E. From 1 April 2023 landlords will be prohibited from continuing to let out such properties (this will apply from 1 April 2020 for privately rented properties).
The Regulations will apply to most buildings in England and Wales, but will not apply to:
Whether or not the Regulations will apply to a building is not always clear cut. ‘Guidance for Landlords’ was provided by the Government in February of this year (which can be found by clicking here), and is intended to help landlords meet their MEES obligations (but is not legally binding).
Certain buildings are exempt from the Regulations, and if applicable, landlords can let these buildings below the minimum standard of E:
If an exemption is sought, the landlord must register for the PRS Exemptions Register (PER), which opened on 1 April 2017. These exemptions are for five years only and cannot be transferred to a new landlord.
Beware the penalties!
Fines for not complying with the Regulations range from £5,000 or 10% of the rateable value of the property (up to £50,000); whichever is greater, if the period of non-compliance is less than three months. If greater than three months, fines are the greater of £10,000 or 20% of the rateable value (up to a maximum of £150,000). There is also a publication penalty for landlords.
Action to take
You can register online or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to receive our latest news, events and publications.