Energy standards deadline looms for landlords, but how far might green regulations go?

Fri 16 Mar 2018

With the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations due to come into effect on 1st April, landlords have been reminded of the importance of ensuring their rental properties comply by holding a minimum of an ‘E’ rating in their latest Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

And while most tenanted homes - except for a select few that may be exempt from the rules - must achieve the rating from this date or landlords will be prevented from starting a new tenancy or renewing an existing one, the prospect of a higher benchmark being set by the government has been raised.

MPs have backed a bill that would mean all residential properties in the UK must meet a minimum of a ‘C’ rating by 2035 and this could apply to the rental sector even earlier.

Allison Thompson, managing director at property specialist Leaders, says: “The imminent implementation of MEES will stop landlords filling an empty property with a tenant if it does not meet the required energy standard, as well as extending existing tenancies when they are up for renewal.

“From April 2020, the regulations will go one step further by applying to all rental properties regardless of the tenancy situation.

“As such, it is clear that landlords cannot afford to run sub-standard homes when it comes to energy performance. We advise anybody letting a property that falls below or close to the ‘E’ rating to take measures to improve its eco-friendliness in order to achieve a higher rating in the next EPC and to comply with MEES.

“What’s more, the government is already looking at raising the bar for all homes to a ‘C’ rating by 2035 and it could introduce this standard in the lettings market earlier. This is a tough target for some properties, such as older buildings and isolated homes, so acting now is the key to ensuring a successful long-term future as a landlord.”

Leaders has advised all landlords to keep their EPC up to date and at a minimum score of ‘E’. It also noted that the technology used to determine EPC ratings has become more accurate in recent years and many properties previously rated ‘E’ are now being found to be just ‘F’ or even ‘G’.

The company has teamed up with Vibrant, the UK’s largest supplier of EPCs and related services, to ensure landlords are able to more easily comply with the new regulations and enjoy peace of mind.

For landlords whose properties have an EPC rating of F or G, the best course of action is to order a 'desktop MEES' through Vibrant which will help you ascertain exactly what needs to be done to ensure your property complies with the regulations or advise if your property can be exempt. 

Click here to download a copy of Leaders’ Landlord Guide to MEES for more information.