The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, commonly known as the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, or MEES, are a set of legal requirements that set a minimum energy standard of an EPC rating of "E" and above for residential properties for let in the private rented sector.
Properties with an EPC rating of less than ‘E’ must be improved with energy efficiency measures to bring their ratings up to at least an ‘E’. Since 1st April 2018, buildings that do not meet the minimum standards cannot be re-let until improvements are made. If owners re-let the property, they will face a penalty fine of up to £5,000.
Exemptions can be registered in certain circumstances. However, these expire after 5 years and do not transfer with a sale of the property to a new owner. By 2020 it will be illegal to continue to lease a domestic property with an EPC rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’
The regulations changed on 1st April 2019. The “no cost to a landlord” rule ceased on 31st March 2019. This rule stated that landlords only needed to fund improvement measures using grants, ECO funding and/or Green Deal Finance. This is no longer the case.
- Since 1st April 2019 a price cap of £3,500 (including VAT) has been introduced.
- If a landlord can improve their property to E for less than £3,500, they will have met their obligation
- Where a landlord is unable to improve their property to E within the £3,500 price cap then they should install all measures which can be installed up to the £3,500 cap and register an exemption
- Expenditure on energy efficiency measures (EEMs) since 1st October 2017 can be counted towards the price cap
- The regulations apply upon the granting of:
- A new tenancy to a new tenant, and,
- A new tenancy to an existing tenant (renewal of a fixed term or rolling over into a Periodic Tenancy)
- The regulations will apply to ALL privately rented property in scope of the regulations, in line with the existing regulatory “back stop” date of 1st April 2020