LANDLORDS

LANDLORDS

LANDLORDS IN CARDIFF, SWANSEA, NEWPORT AND THROUGHOUT SOUTH WALES.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), Home Insulation Assessments & Energy Performance Certificates (EPC).

If you have properties heated by Electricity or Coal, you might qualify for a Free Central Heating System – even if the property is rated F or G. Great for Flats!

ARE YOUR RENTALS MEES READY?

On 1/4/18 the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for Privately Rented Domestic Properties came into force.

Are you concerned about the changes to energy efficiency regulations affecting your domestic rental properties?

We may be able to help you. Owing to some major updates to the datasets used within the EPC software, the answer may be nothing more than just an updated EPC.

Also non-repayable Grants for improving the levels of home insulation are still available to qualifying tenants.

What are the MEES and Regulations?

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property (England & Wales)) Regulations 2015, are often referred to as MEES. It is unlawful to let out domestic properties which have an EPC rating of F or G.

Why were the MEES and Regulations introduced?

The regulations were made to improve the energy efficiency of privately rented homes. Thus helping to meet UK targets of Carbon emission reductions under the Energy Act 2011.

Who does MEES affect and when?

On 1st April 2018, the regulations applied to landlords/property owners upon granting a lease to a new tenant. It also applies to lease renewals to an existing tenant.

In order to comply, all properties must meet MEES by undertaking permissible, appropriate and cost-effective improvements, unless exempt.

Properties which are let on tenancies of more than 99 years, or less than 6 months, and some regulated tenancies such as housing associations were excluded.

The regulations apply to all privately rented properties within the scope of the regulations since 1st April 2020.

What are the Penalties for non-compliance with MEES?

Fines of up to £5,000 can be enforced, depending on the type of infringement and the length of non-compliance. Tenants can raise a case with the First-Tier General Regulatory Chamber if they feel a landlord is non-compliant.

Are there any exemptions?

The “no cost” exemption was removed on 1/4/20

On 31/3/20 all “no cost” exemptions were deleted from the Exemption Register. Full Stop! 

However, there are various exemptions that can apply to the prohibition on letting a property with an energy efficiency rating below E.

If your property meets the criteria for any of the exemptions, you will be able to let it once you have registered the exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register.

Information required to register all exemptions

Here is the list of qualifying exemptions.

  1. “All relevant improvements made” exemption. 

    Register this exemption if the property is still below EPC E after improvements have been made up to the cost cap (£3,500 incl VAT), or there are none that can be made.

    This exemption lasts 5 years. After that it will expire and you must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to E. If it is still not possible, you may register a further exemption. 

  2. ‘High cost’ exemption.

    Register this exemption if no improvement can be made because the cost of installing even the cheapest recommended measure would exceed £3,500 (including VAT).

    This exemption lasts 5 years. After that it will expire and you must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to E. If it is still not possible, you may register a further exemption.

    To register this exemption, you need to provide this additional information:

    • 3 quotes from qualified installers for purchasing and installing the cheapest recommended measure, demonstrating that the cost would exceed £3,500 (including VAT)
    • written confirmation that you are satisfied that the measure exceeds £3,500 (including VAT)
  3. Wall insulation exemption.

    Register this exemption if the only relevant improvements for your property are:

    • cavity wall insulation
    • external wall insulation
    • or internal wall insulation (for external walls)

    AND

    you have obtained written expert advice showing that these measures would negatively impact the fabric or structure of the property (or the building of which it is part).

    This exemption lasts 5 years. After that it will expire and you must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to E. If it is still not possible, you may register a further exemption.

    To register this exemption, you need to provide this additional information:

    • a copy of the written opinion of a relevant expert stating that the property cannot be improved to an EPC E because a recommended wall insulation measure would have a negative impact on the property (or the building of which it is part)
  4. Third-party consent exemption.

    Register this exemption if the relevant improvements for your property need consent from another party, such as a tenant, superior landlord, mortgagee, freeholder or planning department, and despite your best efforts that consent cannot be obtained, or is given subject to conditions you could not reasonably comply with.

    This exemption lasts:

    • 5 years
    • or, where lack of tenant consent was the issue, until the current tenancy ends or is assigned to a new tenant

    In either case, once the exemption comes to an end, you need to try again to improve the EPC rating of the property, or register a further exemption.

    To register this exemption, you need to provide this additional information:

    • copies of any correspondence and/or relevant documentation (such as a letter from your tenant, or a planning department decision notification) demonstrating that consent for the recommended measure was required and sought, and that this consent was refused, or was granted subject to a condition that you were not reasonably able to comply with
  5. Property devaluation exemption.

    Register this exemption if you have evidence showing that making energy efficiency improvements to your property would devalue it by more than 5%. In order to register this exemption you will need a report from an independent surveyor. This surveyor needs:

    • to be on the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) register of valuers
    • to advise that the installation of the relevant improvement measures would reduce the market value of the property, or the building it forms part of, by more than 5%

    This exemption lasts 5 years. After that it will expire and you must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to E. If it is still not possible, you may register a further exemption.

    To register this exemption, you need to provide this additional information:

    • a copy of the report prepared by an independent RICS surveyor that provides evidence that the installation of the recommended measures would devalue to property by more than 5%
  6. Temporary exemption due to recently becoming a landlord.

    If you have recently become a landlord under certain circumstances (see section 4.1.6 in Chapter 4 of the full Guidance document for details of those circumstances) you will not be expected to take immediate action to improve your property to EPC E. You may claim a 6 months exemption from the date you became a landlord.

    This exemption lasts 6 months from the date you became the landlord. After that it will expire and you must have either:

    • improved the property to EPC E
    • or registered another valid exemption, if one applies

    To register this exemption, you need to provide this additional information:

    • the date on which you became the landlord for the property
    • the circumstances under which you became the landlord

What Government Grants are available to me?

If you have properties heated by Electricity or Coal, you might qualify for a Free Central Heating System – even if the property is rated F or G.

Grants are still available for all the measures covered in this site.

To find out if your tenants qualify you can visit this list, or find out a bit more about L A Flex funding.

Energy Performance Certificates.

In April 2008 it became law that every privately rented property has to have a current EPC.

EPC’s have a lifespan of 10 years. So, 1,000’s of EPC’s are expiring each month, and have to be renewed.

We are fully qualified Domestic Energy Assessors, and can produce Energy Performance Certificates for your properties.

Some very important updates have been made to the datasets used within the EPC software. These updates could change the energy rating by as much as 5 points, without any changes to the property.

Also, your EPCs maybe a few years old and do not reflect changes already made – such as a boiler upgrade.

It could move a property from an F rating up to an E rating – job done! – just for the cost of a new EPC and good for another 10 years.

However, there is talk that the 10 year life of an EPC could reduce to 5 years.

There is also talk that the minimum requirement to let out a property could be increased to a D rating. This would bring England & Wales in line with Scottish proposals, but this would seem to be at least a few years away.

Our charges for EPC’s are – Terraced house £49, semi-detached house £54 and a detached house £60 – £84.

The exact price will be dependent upon the number of bedrooms and locality.

Please feel free to give us a call to discuss any of the content on this page.

or give us a call now on 0800 8 10 10 60 or 07960 799683 to discuss your requirements.