Minimum Energy Standards: Is your property legal?
From the 1st April 2018, properties rented out in the private rented sector will be required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above.
This means that after the above date, letting any property with a performance rating lower than E will be unlawful and Landlords letting non-compliant properties will be liable for penalties.
The legislation applies to new assured tenancies (including shorthold and statutory periodic tenancies) that are granted, renewed or extended. It applies to properties being bought and sold and where properties need to conform to building regulations after modifications. It will also apply to existing tenancies (even those of some age) and must be implemented in advance of tenancy renewal.
Properties contained within another building are classified as self-contained or non-self contained units. Self-contained units require an individual EPC rating, whereas for non-self contained units (such as for bedsits) the EPC rating is required for the whole building.
The onus of responsibility is on the Landlord to ensure that all their properties are compliant even with regard to existing tenancies and energy performance certificates will remain active for 10 years, unless a property is sold or modified in the interim at which point a new EPC will be issued. There are instances where a landlord could qualify for an exemption in which case it will be recorded on the Public Exemptions Register. For more details of exemptions click here.
While Landlords with properties achieving energy efficiency ratings of F or G are prevented from letting them out after 1st April 2018 (and are required by law to carry out improvements to meet the minimum standard before reletting), they do have until the 1st April 2020 in order to comply.
But astute Landlords will have recognised that this is an opportunity in disguise. There is a distinction between achieving the bare minimum (to be on the right side of the law) and providing a residence that goes the extra ‘energy efficient’ mile.
The latter will not only set a property apart from others in the marketplace but will also attract Tenants looking to make savings from environmentally friendly improvements.
According to a 2017 Tenant Survey carried out by LSL, “42% of Tenants see the green credentials of a building as being important when making a rental decision”. This is great news for proactive Landlords, after all, a Tenant enjoying benefits from such astute upgrades would be in no hurry to move. A satisfied Tenant is a settled Tenant.
To read the full MEES regulations click here. To upgrade to our Managed Letting Package, or for further gas safe advice as a Landlord, please call the Lettings team at your local MGY office on 029 2046 5466.