What they are?
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations are a set of new regulations designed to improve energy efficiency in privately rented properties. They require all privately rented property, both domestic and commercial, to achieve Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) level E.
When do they come into force?
The new regulations were introduced in March 2015 but will take effect from 1st April 2018. As of that date, properties cannot be let under a new lease or rental agreement unless the property achieves a minimum EPC level E. Come 1st April 2023 all properties will need to achieve the minimum EPC level E whether entering into a new lease or rental agreement or whether there is already one in place.
Who it Affects
The regulations will affect Landlords of domestic and commercial rented property.
There are some exceptions and exemptions from the new regulations for some properties, such as; places of worship, temporary buildings, buildings due for demolition or buildings with a footprint of 50m2 or less.
A building under the regulations is defined as, “a roofed constructions having walls for which energy is used to condition the indoor climate”. Agricultural buildings such as barns or sheds for instance, that have an open front and no heating or climate altering system would not be caught by the new regulations.
Consequences of non-compliance
The first step will be a compliance notice, served by a Trading Standards Officer (TSO). This compliance notice will require the landlord to produce a valid EPC, any current lease or tenancy agreement and/or any qualifying assessment. The landlord will have 1 month to produce this information.
From 1st April 2018, penalty notices can be served by an enforcement authority where it believes a landlord’s property does not meet the required standards under the MEES regulations or that landlord has breached a compliance notice. The penalty notice may impose a financial and/or publication penalty. The financial penalty imposed for commercial property let for more than 3 months is 20% of the rateable value, up to a maximum of £150,000.00. The publication penalty involves publishing information on the penalty notice exemptions register.
For more information on what these regulations mean for you and how to stay compliant please contact Dixon Rigby Keogh Solicitors on 01270 766 550.