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UPDATE on Landlords guide to energy efficiency standards from 1st April 2019

4th April 2019 by Kerry Parsons

Categories: Property News
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If you are a landlord who owns and wishes to let or rent a domestic property then before you do so, make sure you are aware of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), which have been further amended since 1st April 2019.

The existing rules

Since 1st April 2018, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) have applied, which have meant that Landlords of both domestic and non-domestic properties were not able to agree a new letting or tenancy for a property where the Energy Performance rating is below the E Grade.

Existing tenancies with an EPC rating of only an F or G, were given a grace period of two years to make improvements to the poor energy ratings. As of 1st April 2020, it was intended that the MEES would apply to all tenancies, old or new and therefore all tenancies would need to have an EPC rating of at least an E.

What are the changes to the MEES?

The government has made the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2019. The amendments came into force on 1st April 2019.

The majority of the amendments relate to domestic privately rented property and can be summarised as follows:-

  • The previous available exemption, “no cost to the landlord” in relation to sub-standard domestic properties has been removed and instead under the new rules, Landlords will be expected to contribute up to £3,500 (including VAT) per property to raise the energy rating over an E grade.
  • For existing properties, where the “no costs to the landlord” exemption applies, they will remain on the exemptions register until 31st March 2020, after which they too will be removed and thereafter Landlords will have to contribute up to £3,500 for improvements.
  • If the costs of making improvements to a sub-standard property exceeds £3,500 (inc VAT) and the Landlord can evidence this with three separate quotes, then the Landlord can apply for an exemption for any cost over the £3,500 cap.
  • If a Landlord has made any energy improvements since 1st October 2017 (up to 31st March 2019) then those costs can be deducted from the £3,500 cap. The value of further improvements can then be determined.
  • There is no longer the exemption which previously allowed a Landlord to escape the improvement costs, if the tenant of a domestic property did not provide consent to a Green Deal finance plan.
  • If a Landlord has already registered for an exemption (i.e. where a tenant has not consented to improvements being made), then the Landlord will not be able to rely on that exemption once that particular tenant’s tenancy has ended. There is no clear guidance on how this might apply to renewals of tenancies or assignments.

If you require further assistance on the MEES changes then please contact Kerry on k.parsons@laceyssolicitors.co.uk or 01202 743286.

Kerry Parsons

Associate — Residential Property

Direct dial: 01202 307869

Email

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Kerry is an Associate in our Residential Property department based in Bournemouth, with her experience spanning over 12 years. Kerry has worked for two local authorities in Dorset as well as within private practice and she now specialises in Residential Property matters including purchases, sales, remortgages, transfers of equity and other property matters including Declaration of Trusts, adverse possession claims and ownership queries.  Kerry became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2017 having completed the Diploma in Law and Practice (degree level) over 7 years alongside working full time in the legal sector.

Kerry prides herself on being friendly and approachable with a ‘can do’ attitude and really enjoys the fast pace of Conveyancing. There is no matter too complicated and Kerry enjoys problem-solving as is often required on many property matters.

Away from the office, Kerry enjoys spending time with friends and family outdoors and can often be seen out and about with her dog Baxter (and husband!) enjoying some fresh air.  Kerry also joins in with many charity events along with her lovely colleagues.

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