Is your property energy efficient?

For most residential lettings, a Landlord has to have an Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”) before they let a property.  As part of the government’s strive for energy efficiency, with effect from 1 April 2018, a Landlord should not grant a new tenancy/lease if the property has an EPC rating below E.  This is according to Part Three of The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, known as the MEES Regulations.

From 1 April 2020, the MEES Regulations apply to existing tenancies of domestic properties (usually granted prior to 1 April 2018) and from 1 April 2023 to commercial properties.

This article gives an overview of the Regulations and will focus on domestic private rented properties.  Broadly, this term covers ordinary lettings of properties by a private landlord.

What to do if your property has an EPC rating of less than E?   energy-efficiency-154006_960_720

  • A Landlord should check the MEES Regulations apply to the property and the type of tenancy.
  • A Landlord should carry out “relevant energy efficiency improvements” (for the meaning of which see below) to bring the EPC rating above the minimum threshold, unless an exemption to the MEES Regulations (as set out in the PRS Exemptions Register) applies.

The exemptions are:-

  • No funding exemption – If the costs of purchasing and installing the “relevant energy efficiency improvements” cannot be financed at no cost to the Landlord.
  • The consent exemption – A Tenant or other third party refuses to give consent to the relevant works being carried out to increase the energy efficiency or the Tenant refuses to give Consent to Green Deal funding.
  • The devaluation exemption – A Landlord has obtained a report from a Surveyor, which shows that the works to improve the energy efficiency would result in a reduction of more than five per cent in the value of the property.
  • Temporary exemption – In some situations, a Landlord (usually if the Landlord has recently acquired the property) may be given six months to comply with the prohibition on letting and carry out the relevant energy efficiency improvements.
  • Wall insulation exemption – If a Landlord has obtained written expert advice that cavity wall insulation, external wall insulation or internal wall insulation is not appropriate due to its negative impact on the structure of the property.
  • Although not classified as an exemption, if all relevant energy efficiency improvement works have been carried out but the property still has an EPC rating of lower than E, it may be let and the Landlord has up to five years to grant new lettings or continue existing lettings.

For all exemptions, the Landlord must register the property and his/her details on the PRS Exemptions Register.  The exemption is to be registered before it can be relied upon.

A relevant energy efficient improvement is a list of recommendations (often detailed on the EPC or a Surveyor’s report) and the impact they will have.  If such works are required, they must be one of the following:-

  • A measure to improve efficiency in the use of energy in the property and;
  • Identified as an improvement for the property in question.
  • Can also include installation of a service pipe for the supply of gas, if the property is not fuelled by mains gas and is situated 23 metres from the main of a gas transporter.

If a Landlord does not carry out the energy efficiency improvements and does not register the property on the PRS Exemptions Register, or puts false or mis-leading information on the PRS Exemptions register, a Landlord is likely to face enforcement action. This could mean a fine, depending on the type of breach up to £5,000 per breach for each property and/or publication of a notice detailing the non-compliant property, details of the breach of the MEES Regulations, the financial penalty (if any) and the Landlord’s details but not if the Landlord is an individual.

UPDATE

On 5 November 2018, following  a consultation, the Government confirmed that new Regulations will shortly be put before Parliament.  These will apply on the grant of a new tenancy to a new tenant or an existing tenant.  These Regulations will remove the “no cost to Landlord” principle and:-

  • Introduce a Landlord contribution towards any works required to improve energy efficiency capped at £3,500 including VAT.  Any energy efficiency measures undertaken since October 2017, will be included within the £3,500 cap, as will any available third party funding
  • There will be a new “high cost” exemption if the EPC grading of E of a property cannot be achieved for £3,500 or less.  Landlords will have to obtain three quotes, to enable registration of this exemption on the PRS Register
  • The “consent exemption” referred to above will be removed where a tenant has withheld consent to a Green Deal finance plan.

For advice and guidance on these issues or other Landlord/Tenant issues contact our litigation team.

This entry was posted in Commercial Litigation, Property Development, Residential Property. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • In This Section

  • Thank you very much for your excellent service.
    Mrs Statham - Chadderton
  • North Ainley Solicitors
    4.6
    Based on 45 reviews
    powered by Google
    Jonathan Taylor
    Jonathan Taylor
    16:59 01 Feb 20
    We just wanted to thank North Ainley Solicitors again for... all your help. From the initial conversation with Vinesh explaining the process to Cassie answering my many questions and getting us through the line! It’s always a stressful time moving home and we were so happy when you rang with the good news (and we could tell you were too!) and we have collected our keys for our gorgeous new home. We would most definitely recommend North Ainley to anybody moving house! Thanks for a great service.read more
    Maria Wheeldon
    Maria Wheeldon
    14:21 20 Dec 19
    I have just completed my sale and purchase of homes and... would strongly recommend north ainley to others based on the amazing customer experience I received from Cassie Stafford. Cassie made this whole process simple for me. She was attentive, personable, professional and amazing In all she did Thank you cassieread more
    Faz Sal
    Faz Sal
    10:00 18 Nov 19
    We came to North Ainley on 3 recommendations! Wanted to... say a huge thank you to Jill and Sophie in the conveyancing team. They have provided us a brilliant service and have always responded efficiently in a speedy and professional manner to our questions and emails. Jill and Sophie were very professional, caring and helpful at every stage of the process. Jill provided us with her great knowledge and her expert advice along the way and we really appreciated that. I would definitely recommend them as a team and would 100% use their services again! Thanks Jill and Sophie - we are so grateful for your help and genuine approach. Keep up the good work you are a credit to North Ainley! I would have no hesitation in recommending them and will use the company again for any future legal work I might need doing. Thank you :)read more
    Jason Saxon
    Jason Saxon
    14:05 17 Oct 19
    Would really recommend North Ainley. We dealt with Cassie... who was friendly and helpful throughout the whole process. We experienced challenges with our chain and Cassie always kept us up-to-date, re-assured us and did everything to push things along to completion. I would not hesitate to use them again. Thanks Cassie and co.read more
    Claire Wilmot
    Claire Wilmot
    10:03 16 Aug 19
    I have used North Ainley on several occasions for... conveyancing on investment properties and I cannot recommend them enough. Jill Gregory has been brilliant, she's very efficient and responsive to my emails. Jill replies promptly and made things easy by allowing me to do everything by email so I didn't have lots of paper going back and forth. Thank you Jill, and all the other staff behind the scenes, that have handled everything so well. I will continue recommend you to everyone who needs a solicitor! :)read more
    Lisa Wright
    Lisa Wright
    15:05 25 Feb 19
    Cassie was fantastic throughout our sale and would... recommend North Ainley if selling or buying a house.read more
    Lynn Findlater
    Lynn Findlater
    18:55 01 Dec 18
    I have used North Ainley for a number of years. They have... successfully dealt with my parent's wills and more recently the sale of 2 properties. The staff are exceptional and imparticular Cassie who took care of the whole process from start to finish whilst I was overseas. She diligently chased all third parties and kept me informed at all times. I would recommend North Ainley as they have proved themselves time and again over the last 10 years in all of my family's legal affairs.read more
    Idnan Ahmed
    Idnan Ahmed
    12:57 30 Nov 18
    Excellent service. handled my latest commercial purchase... professionally. Would recommend to anyone who is looking for a solicitors who are proffesional and easy to work with. Top service.read more
    Lucy Hoy
    Lucy Hoy
    16:39 27 Nov 18
    Excellent! Very friendly and fantastic communication... throughout. Nothing was to much trouble. Thankyou Vinesh and Cassie. Would definitely recommend.read more
    Anil M
    Anil M
    15:11 04 Nov 18
    Fantastic Solicitors firm. Very professional. Close to... Oldham Town Centre. Answer all your questions and concerns. Keep you upto date at every stage. I have used this firm for many years in buying and selling property. You can not go wrong using North Ainley Solicitors.read more
    Next Reviews
Menu