The new legislation for Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) comes into effect from the April 1 2018. Landlords will therefore need to ensure that changes are made prior to the regulations coming into force.

The aims of the MEES regulations is to improve the energy efficiency of the most inefficient properties. It also aims to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint to meet legislative targets, and tackle the traditional barrier of landlords paying the bill for improvements – the split incentive – which benefit the tenants.

From the 1 April 2018, landlords of private rented properties must not renew existing tenancies or grant new tenancies unless the building meets the minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) requirements. These start at a minimum rating of E. There is the option for landlords to register an exemption, should certain criteria be met.

Failure to comply with the requirements, and renting out properties without fulfilling the requirements, can result in substantial penalties (based on rateable values) being incurred.

Landlords should review their portfolios to understand which properties require action and whether exemptions may be applicable. Landlords will also be exempt from meeting the minimum E rating if all cost-effective improvement measures have been implemented, as determined by a seven-year payback test. All exemptions must be reported to the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register, which is operated by the Government. Exemptions will only last for five years before they must be reviewed.

Local authorities will be responsible for the enforcement and monitoring of the new MEES regulations. In April 2023 the legislation will extend to all existing leases, but only if the building is legally required to have an EPC.

For more details about the legislation, or to discuss any of our rural consultancy services, call Richard Edge or Alex Orttewell on 01935 852170 or email