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New Energy Efficiency Law: Landlords Should Get Ready Now! Thursday, August 10, 2017

The government is introducing the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulation in less than a year's time - and landlords need to ensure they're ready with regards to compliance when it comes into force.

From 1 April 2018, landlords will no longer be able to let or lease a residential or commercial property that has a poor energy rating. Barring a few exceptions, when the MEES regulation comes into force, it will be unlawful to grant new leases to new or existing tenants for properties with an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) band rating of F or G.

Depending on the energy efficiency of their property portfolio, landlords should start taking steps today to ensure their properties meet the necessary standard demanded by the new law.

What Is The MEES Regulation?

As part of its commitment to cut Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, the government is bringing in the new energy efficiency law in order to ensure buildings cut their carbon footprint. At the moment, the government estimates that 18percent of commercial properties have an EPC rating of F or G, the lowest possible bands - and the MEES ruling requires all buildings in England and Wales to achieve an E rating from April 2018.

From 1 April 2018, the new law applies for new lets and renewals of tenancies, and from 1 April 2020 all existing tenancies must comply also.

What Happens If Landlords Don't Comply?

If landlords are not compliant by 1 April next year, they will be unable to re-let their property until the necessary improvements have been made to ensure the property has the required green credentials.

If landlords fail to get a minimum E rating on the property's EPC but decide to re-let without carrying out any works, landlords could face fines of up to £5,000 for domestic properties and up to £150,000 for non-domestic properties.

What Should Landlords Do To Prepare For The MEES?

As professional solicitors with experience of both residential conveyancing law and commercial conveyancing law, we strongly advise all landlords to conduct an energy assessment of their properties - especially if the buildings achieved a lower EPC rating last time it was checked.

EPCs last for ten years so landlords are able to plan ahead to ensure their properties are compliant when the new MEES law comes into force next year. The scale of work needed to achieve the necessary EPC rating will vary and it's important to identify what needs to be improved initially by conducting an energy efficiency assessment of the property.

Energy efficient homes are cheaper to heat and more attractive to potential tenants and buyers, so there's a great incentive for landlords to take action now. By being proactive and making the necessary and worthwhile investments into the property now, landlords can continue to let or lease their properties lawfully.

For free and impartial legal advice on the steps you may need to take to ensure compliance with the new MEES law, please contact our residential or commercial property solicitors at our Failsworth office on 0161 681 4005 or at our Chorlton office on 0161 860 7123 or email info@hlfberry.com