About MEES Regulations
Many Domestic Energy Assessors dealing with privately-rented dwellings would have noted increasing awareness of the upcoming Energy Efficiency Regulations; these are also known as the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).
Firstly, we should be very clear that Domestic Energy Assessors are only remitted to produce a valid EPC, not necessarily to aid Landlords with any decisions they make. Landlords should take the majority of their queries to their trade associations, such as RLA.
This guide has been designed to give DEAs an overview of the Regulations to be able to help their clients with the basics of the new MEES Standards.
What properties are covered?
All privately-rented properties are under these Regulations, and these must reach a minimum EPC Rating of Band E (39 SAP points).
From 1st April 2018, Landlords will be unable to grant a new tenancy on a property which does not meet the minimum E standard. From 1st April 2020, this will extend to all tenancies. A valid Energy Performance Certificate would need to be provided to prove that the property meets the MEES minimum rating.
In certain instances, it will be possible for a property to receive an exemption from having to meet the E-Band efficiency standard, and thus be able to be rented out.
Relevant Energy Efficiency Improvements Undertaken (Regulation 25)
In instances where a property does not meet the minimum MEES standard, but the Landlord has undertaken, and completed, the relevant efficiency improvements, or the EPC shows no recommended measures to be undertaken, it will be possible for the Landlord to apply for an exemption.
This will be a maximum exemption of five years from the date of application to the PRS Exemption Register, at which point the Landlord would need to re-apply with an up-to-date Certificate.
Consent Exemption (Regulation 31)
This exemption will be applied where, in the preceding five years, the Landlord has been unable to increase the dwelling’s rating as a result of:
- Tenant refusing consent;
- Third-party consent has been refused, or applies a condition which the Landlord cannot reasonably comply with.
Devaluation Exemption (Regulation 32)
This can be applied for where, in the preceding five years, the Landlord has been unable to increase the dwelling’s rating as a result of an independent surveyor’s report that undertaking the relevant energy efficiency improvements would reduce the market value of the property by more than 5%.
Temporary Exemptions (Regulation 33)
Where a new Landlord takes over a property for rental, they will be able to apply for a temporary six month exemption from meeting the minimum MEES standards.
PRS Exemptions Register
Landlords will need to provide details of the property they wish to apply a MEES exemption for to a national Register, who will review the documentary evidence (EPC, planning refusal etc), and validate the exemption. An exemption must be registered before the property can be rented.
Again, the remit of the Domestic Energy Assessor is solely related to the production of a valid Energy Performance Certificate, and the recommendations within it. Should a Landlord query whether they are entitled to an exemption, or the impact these MEES Regulations have on their ability to let a property, these should be directed to the Landlord’s trade association who will be able to provide appropriate expert legal advice.
DCLG have recently released stats that explain the extent of those who will be affected by this new initiative. In England & Wales, 20%-25% of commercial & residential properties in England match or drop below the minimum energy efficiency standards.
The Government has also announced their aim to raise the minimum standard to a D rating by 2025 and a C rating by 2030.
Please see below for a complete Regulations and if you have any further questions, please contact Quidos Technical Support on firstname.lastname@example.org.