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Preface First

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The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations 2015

Introduction

Since 01 April 2020 all domestic private rented properties must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a minimum rating of an E to be lawfully let out.

Landlords with properties that have an EPC rating of F or G (as shown on a valid EPC for the property) must not continue letting the property until it is improved to an EPC rating of E or above.

If a landlord is not able to improve the property, a valid exemption must be registered on the PRS national exemptions register.

Non-compliance with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards may lead to a penalty of up to £5,000.

For landlord information about the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards go to : www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-landlord-guidance

 

What should landlords do?

Landlords must ensure there is a valid EPC when marketing a property for sale or rent. Tenants should receive a copy of the EPC before they move in the property.   Lancashire County Council Trading Standards are responsible for enforcing the need to have an EPC.

The governments EPC register can be searched to find the most recent EPC that has been lodged for a property:

Find an energy certificate – GOV.UK (communities.gov.uk)

Since 01 April 2020, all domestic private rented properties must have an energy efficiency rating of E or above, unless there is a valid exemption.  Burnley Council are responsible for enforcing the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations 2015.

 

What Energy Efficiency Measures need to be installed?

The MEES Regulations introduce the idea of `recommended energy efficiency improvements` based upon an EPC rating. These measures or package of measures include those which can be purchased and installed for £3,500 or less (including VAT).

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has a section on `How to improve this property`s energy performance`, and will list a number of recommendations specific to the property. A report may also be prepared by a qualified surveyor or a Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR).

If you have installed all the recommended  energy efficiency improvements (known as ‘relevant energy efficiency improvements’)  for your property and, afterwards, the EPC rating is still below E, you will be able to register an exemption on the grounds that ‘all relevant improvements have been made and the property remains below an E’.

 

Exemptions

There are specific exemptions that landlords may apply for. There are 7 exemptions which can be registered:

1. `High Cost` - where the cheapest improvement works exceed £3500 (no low cost measures are available).

2. `7 year Payback` - when the cost of purchasing and installing a recommended improvement or improvements does not meet the 7 year payback test.

3. `All Improvements Made` - where all the “relevant energy efficiency improvements” for the property have been made (or there are none that can be made) and the property remains sub-standard (i.e an F or G rating)

4. `Wall Insulation` - where certain wall insulation systems may not be suitable

5. `Consent` - third party consent denied, ie Local Planning Authority, freeholder etc

6. `Devaluation` - where the installation of specific energy efficiency measures would reduce the market value of the property by more than 5%.

9. `New Landlord` - a 6 month temporary exemption for a new landlord.

Guidance about exemptions, information about exemptions register evidence requirements, and advice on how to register your exemption go to:-
www.gov.uk/government/publications/private-rented-sector-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-exemptions/guidance-on-prs-exemptions-and-exemptions-register-evidence-requirements

All exemptions must be registered on the national PRS exemptions register. To apply for an exemption please go to:-

PRS exemptions register (beis.gov.uk)

If it is believed that a landlord has supplied misleading or incomplete information or evidence, a compliance notice may be served resulting in the possible issue of a penalty notice.

If a let property is sold or otherwise transferred with an exemption in place, the exemption will cease to be valid. The new owner will need to improve the property or register an exemption if they intend to continue to let the property.

Historic and listed buildings

Historic Buildings, Listed Buildings or buildings within a conservation area are exempt if: "compliance with the minimum energy requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance". This is not a blanket exemption, it may still be possible to make improvements. This is only possible where the character or appearance is not altered. Unacceptable alterations in the majority of protected buildings would be: double glazing, new doors and windows, external wall insulation, and external boiler flues.

There are many more low impact measures that may be acceptable. The responsibility is with the owner to understand which improvements may, or may not, be permitted on their property. When applying for an exemption, owners will need to evidence that:

  • all recommended measures on their EPC would unacceptably alter the character or appearance of the building, and,
  • that none of the recommended measures could be carried out to improve the energy efficiency of the building

Owners of such properties should seek advice from Council’s Planning Department.

 

Funding for improvements

Limited grant funding is available for energy efficiency improvements through Cosy Homes in Lancashire scheme. For more information and to find out if your property would qualify for any energy efficiency measures please go to www.chil.uk.com

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