Energy efficiency requirements in private rented homes
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are now in force
From 1 April 2020 landlords are prohibited from letting privately rented homes which have an EPC rating of F or G unless they have registered a valid exemption.
If we believe a landlord has failed to fulfil their obligations under the MEES Regulations, we can serve the landlord with a compliance notice. If a breach is confirmed, the landlord may receive a financial penalty.
The minimum energy efficiency standard
When the MEES regulations were first implemented in April 2018, landlords of relevant domestic private rented properties were no longer allowed to grant a tenancy to new or existing tenants if the property had an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G, unless an exemption applied.
Since 1 April 2020 the prohibition on letting properties with an EPC rating of F and G has been extended to cover all relevant properties, even where there has been no change of tenancy. Landlords with properties assessed at EPC F and G must have improved the property rating to E, registered an exemption, or ceased letting the property.
Properties covered by the MEES provisions
All domestic private rented sector properties in England and Wales must have an EPC rating of E or above if they are:
- let under an assured tenancy, assured shorthold tenancy, regulated tenancy, or certain types of domestic agricultural tenancy, and
- are legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Where a domestic private rented property meets these two conditions, it will be covered by the Regulations, irrespective of property type, length of tenancy, location, listed status, property size or any other characteristic.
The Government has produced guidance for landlords on how to comply with the minimum energy efficiency standards regulations.
Where a property is sub-standard, landlords must normally make energy efficiency improvements which raise the EPC to E before they let the property.
There are circumstances where landlords of sub-standard properties are unable to carry out the necessary improvements required to lawfully let the property, but may be eligible to claim an exemption from the prohibition on letting the sub-standard property. Where a valid exemption applies, landlords must register the exemption on the National PRS Exemptions Register.
The Government has produced guidance on registering an exemption including how members of the public can search the Exemptions Register.
We may issue financial penalties for failing to comply with a Compliance Notice, entering incorrect information onto the exemptions register, or for letting a substandard property without a valid exemption. The total maximum financial penalty per property is £5,000. We may also publish details of the landlord's breaches on the PRS Exemptions Register.
It is the landlord’s duty to ensure that a sub-standard property is upgraded, exempted, or not let.