Consultation to scrap the "no upfront costs for Landlords inside MEES"
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) today announced a consultation seeking views on amendments to the domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations within the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (from now on referred to as the “minimum standard regulations”).
BEIS state that “This proposal is designed to future-proof the regulations and make them as effective as possible, while protecting landlords against excessive cost burdens. With a cost-cap, domestic landlords would only need to see investment in improvements to an EPC F or G rated property up to the value of that cap. The government’s preferred cap level is £2,500 per property. A range of additional, alternative, cap options are set out in the consultation and the associated consultation impact assessment.”
BEIS further this with “The objective of these proposals is to ensure that the domestic minimum standard regulations deliver the range of benefits originally envisaged from them. These benefits include lower energy bills for private rented households, improved health outcomes as a result of warmer homes, and lower overall energy demand.”
Elmhurst welcomes the removal of the ‘no upfront cost’ element within MEES; which is overly complex and at the whim of local and national based funds and policy. However, we need to carefully digest each of the questions and data provided to ensure that the ‘exemption’ facility is not an easy opt out for unscrupulous landlords.
We will respond to the consultation to ensure that the poorest energy inefficient homes are brought up to decent standards. The general public who rent have been left behind in terms of energy efficiency policy, and anything that makes these homes, warmer and cheaper to run is a good thing. We encourage all our members to respond with their own thoughts; but if you wish to give us your ideas, we will endeavour to cover these points in our overall response.
Elmhurst identifies the ‘Summary of key points of the cost-cap proposal’:
- Proposal to remove the ‘no cost to the landlord’ principle within the current domestic minimum standard regulations.
- Where a landlord contribution is made to improve an EPC F or G rated property to E, there would be a cap on required energy efficiency spend, so the maximum amount a landlord may have to pay (per property) would be the value of the cap – a £2,500 cap is proposed here;
- Where landlords can obtain funding for the improvements required, for example, through ECO, they won’t have to contribute their own funds. Landlords would be required to contribute only what is necessary to bring the property up to an EPC Band E or as near as technically feasible up to the value of the cap. Our analysis shows a majority of landlords will need to pay significantly less than the cost-cap to achieve this. Where part funding can be obtained, landlords only have to make up the balance of the cap, not another £2,500 in addition to this.
For full Details of the consultation:
Deadline for responses is 13th March 2018