Energy efficient properties – what do landlords need to know?

by Ed Firmin


Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2015 at 10:00



The Department for Energy and Climate Change have developed regulations which mean that landlords will have to rent energy efficient homes from 2018.

The regulations, known as Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will be brought into force from April 2018, and they prohibit landlords from renting out properties and other non-domestic buildings which don’t meet minimum energy efficient ratings (those falling into bands F and G on an Energy Performance Certificate).

In addition, from April next year, tenants will also have the right to make their landlords improve the property if it doesn’t meet the minimum energy efficiency standards. Landlords will only be able to refuse if the requests are ‘unreasonable’.

The regulations will apply to new lets and renewals of tenancies from 1 April 2018 climate  and for all existing tenancies from 1 April 2020.

What kind of properties will need updating?

Those properties that fall under this category will tend to be older terraced houses with no cavity, inadequate loft and floor insulation, old boilers and potentially no double glazing. It will affect about 10% of properties in England and Wales.

What does this mean for me?

From 2008, every landlord had to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate for their property, and legally have to show this document to tenants but were under no obligation to improve its performance, until these new regulations.

How much is this going to cost me?

There is funding available for landlords to take advantage of, which will allow landlords to make necessary upgrades either for free, or for no up-front cost. There are two schemes available, the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation, and they will help foot the bill to install new boilers and/or insulation if needed. They will also ensure that landlords only have to make improvements which are cost effective.

Why is the Government doing this?

The Government wants to ensure that tenants don’t have to pay over the odds for properties which are leaking heat, especially those that may be on low incomes, or are particularly vulnerable, such as the elderly or very young.

What happens if I don’t do any improvements?

It will be unlawful to rent out your property. In addition, you could be fined a civil penalty of up to £4,000. However, it doesn’t make your tenancy agreement invalid, so tenants must still ensure they pay rent to you.

If you think that this might apply to a property you currently let, please get in touch, as I will be able to help you with accessing grants and advise you what will probably need to be done to ensure your property is compliant.

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