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Amended MEES rules for residential landlords now in force

Recent changes made to the MEES regulations may require residential landlords to spend up to £3,500 of their own money per property in order to improve the energy efficiency of their portfolios.

Late last year the government proposed new rules for how Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were going to apply on the grant of new assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs). We explained them in Change announced to how MEES affects residential landlords on Shoosmiths’ website on 20 November 2018.

These proposals have now been implemented and took effect on 1 April 2019. This means that for new ASTs granted (to a new tenant, or as a renewal to an existing tenant) on or after that date, the landlord must either ensure that the EPC rating for the property is at least E before the lease is granted (possibly spending up to £3,500 per property of its own money in the process), or register an exemption on the exemptions register where one or more of the exemption criteria are satisfied. This can be tricky and time-consuming to establish and evidence. The change is that landlords may now be expected to spend their own money.

The Government has reissued its guidance for residential landlords, which is available on this website page: The Private Rented Property minimum standard – landlord guidance documents

Next important dates

It is now one year since MEES was introduced, and it is tempting to assume that the worst is over.

However, the key point to remember is that currently MEES applies only where a new lease has been granted since 1 April 2018. But from 1 April 2020, MEES will apply to all residential buildings that are tenanted, regardless of when the lease was granted. For tenanted commercial buildings, the key date is 1 April 2023. So all landlords need to be looking at their portfolios now, to build up a strategy for compliance with MEES from those dates, where they have not already put this in hand.

Disclaimer

This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

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