What are MEES and why do we care?

What are MEES? Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards or MEES are the new regulations that came into force this month stating that all new tenancies need to meet a minimum EPC standards. That is, they need to score E or above on their EPC.

What is energy efficiency? Energy efficiency is gauged by an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). These have been around since 2007 and (almost) all homes that are sold or rented have one. It rates the energy efficiency of a property with a rating with A being the most efficient and G being the least.

That seems pretty low, don’t all properties score an E or above? Surprisingly not, especially in a town like Brighton which is full of old properties with sash windows and no wall cavities.

So, how does that affect me? Well, if you’re a landlord it will be unlawful for you to let your property, from April 2018, on a new tenancy without meeting these minimum standards. If you’re a tenant it will mean that you will eventually live in a more energy efficient home.

I am a landlord but my tenants have lived at the property for years, do I need to do anything? The regulations only affect new tenancies and renewals from April 2018, however all tenancies will be affected from 1st April 2020.

How can I improve my efficiency rating? Take a look at the EPC for your property. Towards the end will be a full list of recommendations to improve the energy efficiency. If you don’t have a copy of your EPC it can be downloaded from the national database here.

I don’t think I can improve the energy efficiency what can I do? Some properties don’t require an EPC, for example some Listed Buildings. If your property does require an EPC exemptions can be lodged on a centralised register. To do this certain criteria must be met:

  • consent to undertake works being refused by a third party (for example, a local planning authority) or tenant
  • written advice that the improvements would result in a devaluation of the property by 5% or more or that the works would damage the property
  • determination that all cost-effective improvements have been carried out and a rating of E has not been achieved, and
  • determination that energy efficiency improvements would not pay for themselves through energy savings within seven years.

This sounds like a lot of hassle, will this affect me if I sell? At present there are no regulations stating a minimum standard for selling, however do bear in mind some mortgage companies are now stipulating a minimum standard on buy to let mortgages.

For more information read more here

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