Energy Performance Certificates
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are needed whenever a property is built, sold, or rented. They contain information about the property’s energy use and typical energy costs, and how to reduce these.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations were introduced by the Government in 2018
From 1 April 2020, the Regulations apply to all new and existing tenancies where the property is legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
The regulations prevent a landlord from letting, or continuing to let a property that has a rating of F or G.
Some specific tenancy types are exempt. You can check to see if your tenancy type is excluded under the regulations.
What are the exemptions?
There are a range of exemptions available. If applicable to your property you (or your agent) must register it and provide evidence. Exemptions could include if the cheapest recommended measure will cost over £3500, if permission is refused or if improvements would be detrimental to the character of the property.
Exemptions are time-limited (most expire after 5 years). Unlike an EPC which stays with a property, exemptions are linked to the landlord who registered the exemption. Therefore, if there is a changeover of landlord a new exemption must be registered.
Exemptions must be registered on the PRS Register.
What does this mean for my property?
If you are planning on letting out a property that has an F or G grade energy performance rating, you must make improvements to bring the rating up to a minimum of an E before the tenancy starts or register an exemption.
Recommendations for improvement works can be found on the property’s EPC.
If your property meets the criteria for any of the exemptions, you will be able to let it once you have registered the exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register.
My property is already tenanted and has an EPC rating of F or G – what should I do?
If improvements have already been made to your property since the last EPC it may not reflect the current standard of the property and you should renew it to prove that it now meets the minimum energy efficiency standard.
If you have not made any improvements, you should install energy efficiency measures such as those shown on your EPC then obtain a new EPC straight away, alternatively register a valid exemption.
Enforcement - Are there any fines for failing to improve the property?
The local authority is actively identifying properties with an F and G rating. Landlords of properties covered under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations are liable of a penalty of up to £5000 where:
- where they fail to meet the minimum E rating; and
- where no exemption has been registered
A further penalty can be imposed if there is a change of tenant and the property is still non-compliant. The council is actively investigating any potential breaches of the MEES regulations and enforcement action will be considered against landlords that fail to bring their property up to the required standard.
Is there any assistance to help me improve my property?
The Council work in partnership with Act on Energy to provide free energy efficiency advice, information on grants, and advice on approved energy efficiency installers.
There are grants for properties already meeting the E rating to help them towards the expected C rating requirements anticipated to come in the next few years.
What is next for MEES?
The Government is looking at further improvements to energy efficiency in the private rented sector, including potentially increasing the minimum standard to EPC Band C, for new tenancies from 2025 and all tenancies from 2028.