MEES Regulations: Landlords, are you ready for 1st April 2020?
Landlords; are you ready for 1st April 2020?
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (“MEES Regulations 2020”), place EPC obligations on landlords. The MEES Regulations 2020 require landlords to make energy efficiency improvements to a sub-standard domestic property currently being let.
A sub-standard property is a property with a valid EPC rating of F or G.
Under Part 3 of the MEES Regulations 2020, a landlord of a sub-standard domestic property must not continue to let the property on a qualifying tenancy, on or after 1 April 2020, unless either of the following applies:
· Sufficient relevant energy efficiency improvements are made to the property so that it is no longer sub-standard;
· A legitimate reason for not improving the property is claimed by the landlord and this has been registered on the Exemptions Register. The legitimate reasons are either:
1. All relevant energy efficiency improvements for the property have been made (or there are none that can be made) and the property remains sub-standard.
2. An exemption in Chapter 4 of Part 3 of the Mees Regulations 2020 applies.
How much will it Cost to comply with the MEES Regulations 2020?
Please note; to comply with landlords EPC obligations, landlords are not required to spend more than £3,500 (including VAT) on energy efficiency improvements. If you cannot improve your property to a valid EPC rating of E for £3,500 or less, you should make all the improvements which can be made up to that amount then register an ‘all improvements made’ exemption.
What happens if you Breach the MEES Regulations 2020?
If a tenancy is granted or continued in breach of the MEES Regulations 2020, the tenant(s) must still pay rent; both parties must observe their obligations under the tenancy and neither party can terminate due to non-compliance with the MEES Regulations 2020, further, the landlord cannot require the tenant to vacate because the property is sub-standard.
The landlord may however, be liable to enforcement action from the local authority for failing to comply with MEES Regulations 2020. This may be either or both of the following:
· Financial penalties; there are 3 types of financial penalty for; (1) breach of the letting restrictions, (2) registration of false or misleading information on the Exemptions Register and (3) failure to comply with a compliance notice.
Each financial penalty has a specified maximum figure and the local authority has discretion where to set the financial penalty below the maximum. The maximum cumulative total of financial penalties imposed for the same breach of the letting provision in relation to the same property is £5,000.
· Entry of the details of the breach on the public part of the Exemptions Register.
Landlords; it is important that you take steps now to ensure that your currently let domestic property has a valid EPC rating of E (at least) or you’ve registered an exemption, by 1st April 2020, to avoid the possibility of enforcement action.
For more guidance on the MEES Regulations 2020 and where to find the Exemptions Register, please visit the government website.