In March 2015 the government introduced the above regulations, bringing into force energy standards for all private rented properties.  In essence, the regulations make it unlawful to let properties with an energy performance rating of F or G.

What is an EPC

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required whenever a property is built, sold or rented. The certificate contains information about a property’s energy use, costs and suggested recommendations to reduce energy consumption. The energy performance of a building is rated on a scale of A to G – A being highly efficient and G being low efficiency.

Key Dates

The regulations have been phased in since 2015, for Landlords of private rented domestic and non-domestic properties in relation to their energy performance. The last 2 parts of the regulations are soon to come into force.

From 1st April 2020

A landlord of a domestic, private, rented property with an EPC rating of F or G must not continue to let the property until works have been carried out to improve the energy efficiency rating to an E or above – or a valid exemption has been obtained. If the property was let prior to the 1st October 2008 it is not legally required to have an EPC and therefore does not need to comply with MEES. IF it does have an EPC the Government Guidance states it will be treated as ‘voluntary’.

From 1st April 2023

A landlord of a non-domestic, private, rented property with an EPC rating of F or G must not continue to let the property until works have been carried out to improve the energy efficiency rating to an E or above – or a valid exemption has been obtained.

Listed Buildings

The regulations are a little more complex for Listed buildings.  According to the official guidance for Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), an EPC is not required for a listed building or property in a conservation area - if energy improvement requirements would ‘unacceptably alter the property’s character or appearance’.  However, it is not possible for a landlord to determine whether the EPC requirements would ‘unacceptably alter the character or appearance’ of a property, without first having obtained an EPC Report.     

Therefore, our advice to Landlords of listed buildings, is to commission and have an EPC drafted.  They then have informed options they can consider;

  • If the EPC rating is between Band A and E inclusive, have the EPC lodged on the government register.
  • Should the rating be recorded below a Band E, (F or G) determine whether the suggested works would entitle you to then be able register on the Private Rental Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register. 
  • If the rating can be improved to comply with MEES Regulations, the landlord should carry out the work to improve the rating and lodge the EPC as above.
  • If there is no way to achieve a Band E for the property, it is also advised that landlords make the suggested improvements that would not ‘alter the property’s character or appearance’ and proceed to lodge the exemption on the PRS Register, with the supporting evidence required.

Guidance can be given by the Domestic Assessor who conducted the EPC inspection and/or your Local Authority conservation officer. 

Funding Improvements

As part of the regulations, a landlord is not required to spend more that £3,500 including VAT, on energy efficiency improvements to a property.  If the property cannot achieve a Band E rating, subsequent to making all of the advised improvements totalling £3,500, then a landlord can apply for a PRS ‘all improvements made’ Exemption. Further details of the funding options are available on the .gov.uk website (see the link below under Regulations Guidance).  

Domestic Assessors

Butler Sherborn can provide further advice on the regulations and details of registered Domestic Assessors who would be able to undertake the EPC inspections and/or assist on applying and obtaining a PRS Exemption. 

Penalties

The potential penalties to landlords for not complying with the MEES regulations can be extensive and is applied by the Local Authority. 

Regulations Guidance

Should you wish to research the legislation further, full details of the regulations and guidance notes can be found on the government website:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-ene...

If you would like further information regarding these Regulations, please do not hesitate to contact Vanessa in Lettings on 01993 822325 or Hennie in our Management Department  on 01285 883740

Cotswold Land

Pip Menzel - November 2019

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