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The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations first came into effect on 1 April 2018 and apply to most domestic private rented properties from 1 April 2020. The regulations are designed to tackle the least energy-efficient properties - those rated F or G on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - by establishing a minimum standard of EPC band E for domestic private rented properties in England and Wales.
The regulations apply to domestic private rented properties which are let on an assured tenancy (including an assured shorthold tenancy), a regulated tenancy, or a domestic agricultural tenancy, and are legally required to have an EPC. Most properties that have marketed for sale or let, or modified, in the past 10 years fit this legal requirement.
The regulations mean that:
Since 1 April 2018, landlords of domestic private rented properties covered by the regulations must not grant a tenancy to new or existing tenants if their property has an EPC rating of F or G.
From 1 April 2020, landlords must not continue letting a domestic property covered by the regulations which is already let if that property has an EPC rating F or G.
Where a property does not meet the minimum energy efficiency standard, landlords must make energy efficiency improvements to raise the EPC rate to minimum E before they let the property.
The EPC Report will include a list of recommendations detailing measures to improve the energy efficiency of a property. Improvements can be funded by third-parties, self-funded, or a combination of both. Landlords will never be required to spend more than £3,500 of their own funds on energy efficiency improvements to their property. If a property can’t be improved to EPC E for £3,500 or less, landlords should make all the improvements possible to that amount, then register an ‘all improvements made’ exemption.
If a property is currently empty, and the landlord isn’t planning to let it, they don’t need to take any steps to improve its rating until they decide to let it again. In some circumstances, landlords may be able to claim an exemption - for example, if the building is officially protected - which must be registered on the PRS Exemptions Register.
The regulations are enforced by local authorities, who have a range of powers to check and ensure compliance, including fines of up to £5,000.
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