The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (as amended) set a minimum standard for energy efficiency for both domestic and non-domestic private rented property. This minimum energy efficiency standard for domestic private rented property referred to as MEES is a minimum standard of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band E.
An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. The report attached to the EPC contains information about a property’s energy use, its typical energy costs, and recommends energy efficiency improvements to reduce energy use in order to cut costs.
Since the 1st April 2020 under the Regulations a privately rented property with an EPC band of F or G is defined as ‘sub-standard and non-compliant’ and the landlord must no longer let the property unless it has a valid exemption registered on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register. This applies to any privately rented property which is legally required to have an EPC and which is let on a relevant tenancy, for example an assured tenancy.
Landlords in breach of the MEES regulations can be issued a financial penalty up to a maximum of £5,000 per property as per the Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council MEES Financial Penalty Charging policy. The Council can also issue a publication penalty on the publically available section of the PRS Exemptions Register.
What should the landlord do next
Landlords who cannot improve their property up to an EPC rating of at least an E for £3,500 or less, should make all the improvements as indicated on the EPC that can be made up to that amount, then register an ‘all improvements made’ exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register.
For Government Guidance on registering an exemption, see MEES Exemptions.
Please note even with a valid MEES exemption a landlord will still need to ensure the property meets the minimum standard for housing under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004. A property with an EPC rating of F or G is unlikely to meet this minimum standard and on assessment under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) likely to have a category 1 excess cold hazard. A landlord will therefore need to take action to improve the energy efficiency of the property to remove the category 1 hazard.
What should the tenant do next
Tenants should check the EPC for their rented property and if the property does not meet the minimum energy efficiency standard of EPC rating E or above they should discuss this with their landlord and seek the improvements required. If no improvements are made please contact the Private Sector Housing team for advice and assistance at email@example.com or telephone on 01732 876067.
Funding for energy efficiency improvements
Funding may be available to help cover or provide a contribution to the improvement works required to comply with the MEES regulations. For impartial advice on saving energy in the home and available Government funding visit Simple Energy Advice or for information on funding the Council may be able to provide see Warm Homes Assistance.