As of today, landlords have just one month to ensure that their rental properties meet the Government’s new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).
From 1st April 2018, it will become illegal for landlords to grant new leases – even to existing tenants – on properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G. This means that all rental properties on new lets or renewals must have a minimum EPC rating of E.
For the past two years, tenants have been given the freedom to request energy efficiency improvements to their properties. As such, the number of F and G rated properties in the private rental sector has declined.
However, landlords who do have F or G rated investment properties must ensure that they are brought up to the new standards before 1st April.
David Cox, the Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark (the Association of Residential Letting Agents), reminds landlords: “Landlords now only have one month to ensure their properties comply with the Government’s Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards. From 1st April, all rented properties on new lets (including renewals) must be minimum EPC rated E.
“Landlords have been responding to tenants’ demands for better quality and better insulated homes over the last few years; the number of properties which are EPC rated F or G has fallen from around 700,000 in 2012 to 300,000 today. However, there are still a lot which don’t meet the standards.”
He explains the repercussions of failing to comply with the new laws: “After the deadline passes at the end of this month, landlords face fines of up to £4,000 for flouting the law, or losing money on empty properties which can’t be let until they meet the standards. This will also have implications on the wider rental market, which is in the midst of a serious supply crisis.
“There are Green Deal finance plans available and you can contact companies such as Propertymark’s industry supplier ECO-Energi to find out how to upgrade your property for a low cost. For any landlords who haven’t yet started to upgrade their properties, now is the time to act – and quickly.”
If you’ve not yet thought about how you need to improve your properties ahead of the deadline, don’t delay!