MEES – new rules 2020
From April 2020, more landlords will need to meet the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations. Landlords were previously able to claim an exemption if they couldn’t secure government funding for energy improvements. These revised regulations require rented homes to have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E. The rules were first introduced in 2018, but originally only covered new tenancies and renewals. However, since April 2020, they apply to both existing and new tenancies.
Coronavirus and MEES
Despite the challenges to the lettings sector by Coronavirus, the new MEES regulations still came into effect in April. Landlords with properties that don’t meet the regulations must carry out energy efficiency measures on their homes. The MEES mean that landlords can no longer rent out homes with an EPC rating of F or G. And those who continue to do so will face fines up to a maximum of £5,000. There will still be exemptions on offer for properties that would cost more than £3,500 to bring up to scratch, but landlords may still need to pay for changes that take them up to the cap. The government predicts that updating older properties to a minimum EPC grade of E will cost an average of £1,200. They also say these changes are aimed at improving standards in the private rented sector.
How the letting industry is reacting
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has expressed disappointment that the government hasn’t made energy efficiency changes tax-deductible. On the other hand, fuel poverty campaigners say that the £3,500 cap should have been set much higher. This is because there is a fear that landlords will still let out homes that are dangerously cold and damp. For this reason, it’s worth getting to grips with the basics of improving the energy efficiency of any home being let out.
You can find out if your property has a valid certificate on the government’s EPC retrieval website.
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