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Energy efficient landlords aware of new standards

Thursday 12 July 2018

The majority of landlords are aware of the new minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) introduced in April, with 93 per cent of homes in the private rented sector estimated to be at, or above, the minimum required rating.

The new standards require landlords to achieve a minimum rating of “E” on the Energy Performance Certificate for their rental property

Landlords with residential properties that fail to meet these levels face a potential penalty of up to £5,000 per property.

Our resident expert Carl Agar in a previous blog talks new EPC regulations and improving energy efficiency and provides ideas on how to improve the energy efficiency rating of your property.

A survey by specialist lenders Paragon found that almost four out of ten (39 per cent) landlords said they had replaced the boiler in one or more of their rental properties and one third (33 per cent) said they had invested in new windows.

By contrast, landlords were least likely to have undertaken loft or cavity wall insulation, with only 12 per cent and 7 per cent respectively having carried out these measures in the prior year.

Paragon director of mortgages John Heron says: “The private rented sector (PRS) has made significant progress in energy efficiency over the last decade and landlords continue to prioritise investment that will reduce energy consumption and keep costs low for their tenants.

Energy efficiency in the PRS is now on a par with owner-occupied properties and these latest figures on boiler upgrades demonstrate commitment to further improvement.

In April 2020, it will become unlawful to rent any property that has an existing or continuing tenancy with an energy rating of E or below.

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy has issued guidance on compliance with the 2018 ‘Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency’ standard, in accordance with the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.

The documents provide guidance and advice on

  • Scope of the regulations: the steps a landlord should take to determine whether their property is covered by the regulations, and the steps they should take to ensure their property complies with the minimum level of energy efficiency;
  • Relevant improvements: how a landlord can identify appropriate energy efficiency improvements for their property; 
  • No-upfront Cost Funding (domestic only): how a landlord can investigate availability of no-cost funding to cover the cost of improving a domestic property;
  • Cost effectiveness (non-domestic only): how a landlord can determine whether particular improvements would be cost effective to install in a non-domestic property;
  • Exemptions and exclusions: the exemptions framework and the steps a landlord should take to register a valid exemption;
  • Enforcement: the enforcement framework and the options open to enforcement authorities when policing compliance with the minimum standards, including information on fines and other penalty options;
  • The appeals framework: landlord appeals will be heard by the First-tier Tribunal, part of the court system administered by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service; the guidance discusses the steps a landlord will need to take to lodge an appeal, and how that process will be managed.

At Simple Landlords Insurance, we have created a short and simple guide to the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) with a summary of MEES and everything you need to know, which you can read here.

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