Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in the Private Rental Sector

Did you know that there are new laws coming into effect over the next few years that will affect private landlords?

The first will be introduced on 1st April 2016 where all domestic tenants will be given the right to request energy efficiency improvements to their properties.

Moreover from 1st April 2018, private rental properties must achieve an energy efficiency rating of at least E on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations will initially only apply upon the granting of a new tenancy to a new or existing tenenat. However from 2020 the regulations will apply to ALL  privately rented property which are required to have an EPC.

The good news is that you have some time to get to grips with the legislation as landlords are not expected to improve their property if it means incurring an upfront cost. However, the Government is expected to launch a new Scheme in spring enabling landlords to improve the efficiency of their properties without the need for upfront costs.

Key Dates 

1 April 2016

Domestic tenants in properties let under a long term assured or regulated tenancy have the right to request energy efficiency improvments to their properties.

1 April 2018

Private rental propeties must achieve an energy efficiency rating of atleast an E on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations will initially only apply upon the granting of a new tenancy to a new or existing tenant.

1 April 2020

ALL private rental properties will be required to meet Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), and must achieve and energy efficiency rating of E or above. 

Implications 

An EPC is already required to let or market a property legally, but the new laws around Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards mean that an EPC of rating F and G is not sufficient for compliance. If your property does not meet the minimum standard, you cannot let or market that property within the law, and rent reviews could also be affected.

Penalties for non compliance

If a tenant considers that the landlord has not complied with the Energy Efficiency Improvment regulations, they can take the case to a First-tierTribunal General Regulatory Chamber.

Moreover Financial penalties for not meeting MEES in 2018 could be as much as £5000 in the domestic sector.

What Next? 

Don't forget there is a new Scheme coming in 2016 which will replace the now discontinued, Green Deal and will be the final piece in the jigsaw to set the framework for energy efficiency compliance.

Landlords have some time to improve their properties but at the very least should commission an Energy Performance Certificate now to find out where they stand.

For further information please feel free to download our guide to 'Energy Efficiency in the Private Rental Sector'

Energy Efficiency in the Private Rental Sector – PDF Download

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