The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations

Whether you own a single residential investment property or a portfolio of residential properties, it is important to take note of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) and the upcoming deadline of 1 April 2020.

What is the current position?

As of 1 April 2018, landlords were required to ensure that, unless specific exceptions applied, to legally grant a new tenancy their property must have an Energy Performance Certificate with a minimum energy efficiency rating of rating of E or above.

Crucially this deadline only caught new tenancies, being tenancies granted on or after 1 April 2018. Not existing tenancies already in place prior to that date.

What will the new position be?

As of 1 April 2020, any existing tenancies (granted prior to 1 April 2018) will also be subject to the requirement that, in order to continue legally letting a property it must have a minimum energy efficiency rating of E or above.

What should you be doing if this applies to you?

Landlords with existing tenancies (granted prior to 1 April 2018) should be using the next 6 months wisely, commissioning Energy Performance surveys and, where necessary, carrying out works to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.

Further points of note

An EPC will remain valid for 10 years (provided that no works which may have affected the energy efficiency of the property have been carried out subsequently), and as such if a property already meets the minimum energy efficiency standard then you need not worry.
 
There is a cost cap of £3,500. Landlords are expected to make all improvements possible up to a cost of £3,500 in order to achieve the minimum energy efficiency standard.
 
Significantly, landlords are expected to spend £3,500 even if doing so would not improve the energy efficiency rating to E. Landlords would be expected to make all the improvements which can be made up to that amount, then register an ‘all improvements made’ exemption.