Saffery Champness is advising those who provide domestic private rented property in the rural sector that time is fast running out to make necessary improvements to meet the Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations.
These regulations apply to assured and regulated tenancies and domestic agricultural tenancies that are required to have an energy performance certificate (EPC). Where that EPC rating is currently either F or G then it must be improved to E by 1 April 2020, which now less than three months away, unless there is a valid, registered exemption.
“Time is running out to make these improvements where landlords wish to continue to let these properties after 1 April 2020. However, a cost cap of £3,500 has been set for each individual property. Where all improvements that can be made within this cost cap have been made, and the performance is still below E, or where none can be made within this limit, an all improvements made or high cost exemption can be sought.
“There are sources available for third party funding, such as green deal finance and local authority grants, and these may be used towards the £3,500 cap per property.
“Other exemptions are also available – for example where installation of energy efficient improvements would reduce a property’s market value by more than 5%, or where consent from a third party to make the improvements cannot be obtained, despite reasonable efforts.”
Non-compliance occurs where, from 1 April 2020, a property is let or continues to be let in breach of the regulations. Domestic property penalties are as follows (up to a cap of £5,000 per property per breach):
- Up to £2,000 for letting a non-compliant property for less than 3 months;
- Up to £4,000 for letting a non-compliant property for 3 months or more;
- Up to £1,000 for providing false or misleading information to the Exemptions Register; and
- Up to a further £2,000 for failure to comply with a compliance notice.
Instead of a financial penalty, or as well as a financial penalty, details of the breach may be published.