As of the 1st April 2018, the government introduced new legislation requiring all landlords to ensure that the properties they let out comply with the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 and meet the minimum energy efficiency standards Regulations (MEES) for domestic and commercial properties.

Stephanie Whitchurch and Ross Pierrepont from Tallents Solicitors said:

“We are concerned that not all landlords are aware of the legislative changes and the implications that this will have for the new lets, extensions or renewals of leases fortheir properties.”

What do the MEES apply to?

Ross continues:

“As of 1st April 2018, all let properties requiring an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) must meet the EPC rating minimum of ‘E’, unless they fall into an exempt category.

“If the properties do not meet the minimum energy efficiency standards then they cannot be re-let until improvements have been made to bring them up to at least an ‘E’ rating or above, or landlords will face civil penalties.

“This affects all privately rented properties in England and Wales, including new lets and renewals of assured tenancies, assured shorthold tenancies, etc..”

What happens if my properties don’t meet the MEES Regulations?

Stephanie says:

“If the landlord re-lets the property knowing that it does not meet the MEES Regulations then they could face cumulative financial penalties of up to £4,000 for each residential property and up to £150,000 for each commercial property, depending on the length of the breach.”

Stephanie finishes:

“When you consider the possible extent of the civil penalties that could be applied for a breach of the Regulations, it’s clear that landlords who know they have properties which don’t meet the MEES should consider their next steps carefully.

“There are some reasons (type of tenancy, type of building, or length of time needed to make improvements, etc.) by which landlords can apply for temporary or five-year exemptions from the scope of requirements, but we advise landlords to seek legal advice if they think this might be an option. At Tallents, we can advise you on the steps that should be taken to avoid a penalty and what you should do in the event of receiving a penalty.Call 01636 671881 to set up an appointment today.”