How can you work with landlords to help them understand their duties?

Article by: Landlord News 

As an energy assessor, you’ll be completely aware of the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) that will apply to all private rental sector properties from 2020. But how can you work with landlords on energy efficiency improvements?

The first step is to make sure that they’re aware of the MEES. With a whole host of regulations and tax changes hitting landlords recently, it can be difficult to keep up with them all. When working with them on their Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), ask them whether they’ve heard of the MEES and, if not, explain how they will be affected.

Firstly, they must be aware that the MEES will apply to all new leases (including those granted to existing tenants) from April 2018, which is just around the corner. Secondly, they should know that all tenancies will be affected from April 2020.

Simply put, landlords should understand that they will be banned from letting properties with an EPC rating of F or G and must make improvements to their property if it is currently at this level of energy efficiency by the above dates.

Of course, your job is to work with landlords on making sure they have an up-to-date EPC when they let a property, which is a legal requirement, but you could also ask them if they have more properties in their portfolio, as they must have a valid EPC for each rental home. Conducting an energy assessment on each of their properties will help them understand how many improvements they need to make to comply with the MEES.

Although you are not required to, you will likely have a better understanding of energy efficiency than some landlords, so talking to them about the improvements they could be making is a great step in ensuring that all rental housing is as efficient as possible.

If there are obvious issues with their property, such as no double-glazing, you could mention this as a first step to improving the EPC rating of their investment. A landlord may also ask you questions as the introduction of the MEES draws closer, so it’s wise to be open and help them where possible.

Additionally, if they don’t seem to be too interested in the energy efficiency of their property, you could mention how improvements could benefit them.

Rose Jinks, on behalf of market-leading Landlord Insurance provider Just Landlords, explains the benefits of an efficient property: “Tenants are becoming more savvy to how the EPC rating of a property will affect their monthly spending and even comfort within a rental home. For this reason, a more energy efficient property will attract a wider selection of tenants when putting it on the lettings market.

“Reduced utility bills and a lower carbon footprint will not only appeal to tenants when they first move in, but they may be more likely to keep them in a property for longer, which is good news for the landlord and tenant.”

Although it is a landlord’s responsibility to make energy efficiency improvements to their property, all involved in the industry can do their bit in making rental homes more environmentally friendly.

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Elmhurst are currently running indepth training courses which cover Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES). You can find out more about the events we have running (dates, locations and course content) through our training calendar

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