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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards – April 2020 Update

Wed 22 April 2020

Since April 2018, all new tenancies (Domestic and commercial) in Wales and England have had to meet a set of standards known commonly as MEES, standing for Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard. This requires all rental properties to have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) with a minimum rating of an ‘E’ or have a valid exemption registered.  This applies to all landlords with private tenants.

In 2019 an update was adding which introduced a ‘cost cap’ which required landlords to spend up to £3,500 per property to improve them to the minimum level.

However from the 1st April 2020 this requirement has now extended to all existing domestic tenancies. For commercial tenancies this does not come into effect until 1st April 2023.

What are the key points to note:

What are the exemptions?

In some situations a landlord may be exempt from these regulations. These are:

  • ‘All relevant improvements made’ But the property remains below an ‘E’
  • Wall insulation exemption – A written opinion from a relevant expert stating that a property cannot be improved to an ‘E’ because the recommended wall insulation would have a negative impact on the building
  • Consent exemption – Copy demonstrating that consent for energy efficient measure was sought and refused.
  • Devaluation exemption – Copy of report from an independent RICS surveyor providing evidence that a measure would devalue the property by more than 5%
  • Exemption on recently becoming a landlord – qualifying circumstances required.
  • Below an ‘E’ and no improvements can be made – Copy of report required to prove this.
  • Severn year payback rule – copies of three quotes for the cost of purchasing and installing the measures from qualified installers and confirmation that this does not meet the severn year payback rule by calculations.

The penalties:

  • If a residential landlord infringes on the MEES regulations fines of up to £5,000 can be enforced depended on the type of infringement and the length of non-compliance.
  • For a commercial landlord fines can be as much as £150,000 per property. In addition the details of the offence will be published and made available to the public.

How can we help?

It is important that an up to date EPC is carried out on the property as soon as possible if either one does not exist, or it currently has one showing a rating of below an ‘E’.

Once an up to date EPC is produced we can assess how energy efficient your property actually is, and understand what improvements can if needed be made.

McCartneys LLP have trained domestic and commercial energy assessors who will be able to assist you with your property. Please contact your local office to discuss further.

Geraint Jones BSc(HONS) MRICS NdipDEA, NdipNDEA Chartered Building Surveyor, Domestic and Commercial Energy Assessor

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