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What Do You Know About MEES?

Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What Do You Know About MEES?

You would be forgiven for answering, “Not much” as there still seems to be an amount of uncertainty around the Government's proposals for bringing rented property up to a certain energy efficient standard.

MEES, or to give it its full title of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, is a move to ensure that all rented property has an energy efficiency score of ‘E’ or above.  The Governments 99-page document about its stated intentions were published in October 2017 and it has two key dates that all landlords need to be aware of.

Firstly,  all new tenancy agreements starting after 1st April 2018 will require the property to have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) of an ‘E’ or above rating and then, from 1st April 2020, all rented properties must achieve this rating.  Whilst there are some exceptions those that breach this new ruling could incur a fine of up to £4,000.

In preparation for the 1st of April 2018, Waymark Property wanted to provide a summary of some of the key point of MEES

The scope of the regulations apply to most, but not all, domestic private rented sector properties in England and Wales. It covers the following tenancy types:

  • A tenancy which is a regulated tenancy for the purposes of the Rent Acts.
  • Properties let on a tenancy which is an assured agricultural occupancy and similar tenancies relating to agricultural dwellings.
  • Properties let under an assured tenancy including an assured shorthold tenancy.

If a property is legally required to have an EPC then it is potentially within the scope of the Regulations. This means:

  • Properties within the scope will include any domestic privately rented property which has an EPC or required to have an EPC.
  • Flats and houses are subject to the regulations.

A six-month exemption can apply where someone has recently become a landlord to allow time for work to be done, provided one of the following conditions are met:

  • The grant of a tenancy is due to prior contractual obligation.
  • If a tenant becomes insolvent and a guarantor takes over the tenancy.
  • A new lease is created by operation of law.
  • As from 1st April 2020 a temporary exemption applies where someone becomes a landlord on purchasing an interest in a property and on the date of purchase it is let on an existing tenancy.

In all cases the exemption is for six months from the date when the person becomes the landlord.  After six months, the exemption will expire and the landlord must either have during the six month period improved the property or have registered another valid exception or exemption where the property is F or G rated and required to have an EPC.

There is much about the legislation which needs to be clarified and even now there is an ongoing government consultation process over the implementation of parts of the new rules! If you are already a landlord or are about to become one and have any queries as to what you need to do to comply then we will do our very best to pick our way through maze!

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