There is still a worrying lack of awareness regarding new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) being introduced next month, according to new research.
The 2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations set out minimum energy efficiency standards for England and Wales. These regulations make it unlawful for landlords to grant a new lease for properties that have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E, from 1 April 2018, unless the property is registered as an exemption
But somewhat concerningly, a new survey, by specialist insurance firm Just Landlords, found that just 4% of landlords and tenants know about the requirements of the new MEES regulations which will prevent them renewing existing tenancies or agreeing new lets if it does not meet minimum standards.
Rose Jinks, of Just Landlords, said: “The lack of awareness around this key legislation is astounding. Landlords and tenants need to know what their EPC rating is, as it could not only help them avoid a fine, but also could save them large sums of money.
“The fact that our survey found that less than four in 10 people in the market are even aware of how improving your EPC could save them money is shocking.”
To help landlords take action to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy has issued a guidance document on compliance with the 2018 ‘Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency’ standard, in accordance with the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.
The documents provide guidance and advice on:
+ Scope of the regulations: the steps a landlord should take to determine whether their property is covered by the regulations, and the steps they should take to ensure their property complies with the minimum level of energy efficiency;
+ Relevant improvements: how a landlord can identify appropriate energy efficiency improvements for their property;
+ No-upfront Cost Funding (domestic only): how a landlord can investigate availability of no-cost funding to cover the cost of improving a domestic property;
+ Cost effectiveness (non-domestic only): how a landlord can determine whether particular improvements would be cost effective to install in a non-domestic property;
+ Exemptions and exclusions: the exemptions framework and the steps a landlord should take to register a valid exemption;
+ Enforcement: the enforcement framework and the options open to enforcement authorities when policing compliance with the minimum standards, including information on fines and other penalty options;
+ The appeals framework: landlord appeals will be heard by the First-tier Tribunal, part of the court system administered by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service; the guidance discusses the steps a landlord will need to take to lodge an appeal, and how that process will be managed.