Overview of The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)
The MEES regulations form part of the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 and are a requirement of the Energy Act 2011.
apply to certain privately rented dwellings let on a tenancy (i.e. not a license)
until 31st March 2019, in force on the basis that improvements made to the thermal efficiency of the dwelling would not incur upfront costs to the landlord.
revoked 2018/19, from 1st April 2019, contribute towards the cost of energy efficiency measures, subject to a spending cap, up to £3,500 (inclusive of VAT)
enforcement started April 2020
Band C69 proposed rating by 2025
What properties do the MEES Regulations apply to?
Any privately rented property which is: -
legally required to have an EPC
and let on a relevant type of tenancy
Where these two conditions are met the landlord must ensure that the minimum standard of an EPC Band E is met or exceeded.
Are there any circumstances when an EPC may not be Required?
Place of worship and for religious activities
A temporary building with a planned time of use of two years or less
Stand-alone (detached) buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m²
Furnished holiday accommodation where the occupancy is via licence and/or the occupant is not responsible for meeting the energy costs
HMO’s (most local authorities want an EPC when issuing an HMO licence)
Non-self-contained dwelling. Hostels hotels B&B will require a non-domestic EPC
Where a property let on a regulated tenancy has been let continuously to the same tenant prior to 1st October 2008 (when EPCs were introduced for rented properties), it is likely that the property will not have an EPC (and may not be legally required to have one). In this case the property will be excluded from the requirement to meet the minimum standard. (Lenders may not find this acceptable, when applying for refinancing though.)
Who enforces the rules?
By Local Authorities, as either Environmental Health or Trading Standards.
Where an EPC is legally required for a property, Trading Standards are responsible for enforcing the regulations requiring an EPC to be made available.
What are the penalties?
letting a sub-standard property for less than 3 months - up to £2,000
letting a sub-standard property for 3 months or more - p to £4,000
registering false or misleading information on the PRS Exemptions Register - up to £1,000
total amount of financial penalty per property (and per breach) cannot, under current legislation, be more than £5,000.
The penalties may also be accompanied by publication of the specific breach on the public exemptions register.
Is financing or funding available: -
When landlord is able to secure some third-party funding, but less than £3,500, and not enough to improve the property to EPC E. In such cases, the Regulations require the landlord to top up this third-party funding with their own funding, provided the combined value of the funding (third-party and self-funding) does not exceed the £3,500 cap (inclusive of VAT).
If this combined funding is sufficient to improve the property to EPC to band E then the landlord will need to take no further action. If the combined funding is insufficient to improve the property to Band E then the landlord should install all measures which can be installed up to value of £3,500, and then register an exemption on the basis that “all relevant improvements have been installed and the property remains below E”
When is an EPC legally required?
It is a legal requirement to obtain an EPC under the following circumstances: -
New-build or newly formed dwellings
The property is offered for sale or has been sold
The property is available to rent or has been let
Where improvements have been carried out which require an EPC for Building Regulations compliance
Change of legal ownership
When serving a Section 22 notice
When securing funding, lends are now asking for an EPC to prove a rating over E39
Or C69 if the loan has a fixed rate that will end post May 2025
Claiming Renewable Heat Incentive
What properties do the Regulations apply to?
The Regulations apply to all private rental properties in England and Wales which are:
a) let under certain types of domestic tenancy. See section 1.1.2 of the Domestic Private Rented Property Minimum Standard (DPRPMS)
b) which are legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) 1.1.4 of the Domestic Private Rented Property Minimum Standard (DPRPMS)
Are there any exceptions?
It is possible to apply for an “exemption” if the following have been met: -
All the relevant energy efficiency improvements for the property have been completed Rating remains below an EPC Band E
Where energy efficiency improvements Band E) after the landlord has receipts to evidence a spend of up to £3,500 inc VAT
Where a certain measure cannot be installed due to its negative impact on the building’s fabric/structure e.g. wall Insulation
Third party consent cannot be obtained - this could include planning permission or consent from the tenant or superior landlord
Installation of certain measures would reduce the property’s market value by >5% - this would need to be evidenced by Chartered Surveyor’s Report
EXEMPTIONS LAST FOR 5 YEARS AFTER WHICH TIME THE PROCESS STARTS AGAIN.
** Minimum Level of efficiency provision flow chart (below)
Is there an appeals process?
Yes, if he or she believes any of the following apply: -
the penalty notice was based on an error of fact or an error of law
the penalty notice does not comply with a requirement imposed by the Regulations
it was inappropriate to serve a penalty notice on them under the particular circumstances