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The minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES) regulations came into effect April 2018. It became a legal requirement that qualifying, privately rented properties have a minimum E or above rating on their energy performance certificate (EPC). Most properties marketed and let after the enforcement date will already comply or know if they are exempt but there was a 2 year grace period for tenancies that started before April 2018.  Come April 2020 that grace period expires. It will no longer matter when a tenancy started, renewed or rolled month to month. Qualifying properties with a F or G EPC rating and no exemption will need to be removed from the rental sector or improved by the Landlord up to a value of £3,500 inc VAT.

There are a few exemptions which Landlords must proof and register on the PRS Register. For general advice Landlords can also call them on  0333 234 3422, email on PRSRegisterSupport@BEIS.gov.uk or read here.  It is worth a mention that if a property has been let to the same tenant since before 1st October 2008 (when it became a legal requirement to supply prospective Tenants with an EPC), and has not been sold  or modified since that date, the minimum E rating may not apply until the current tenant vacates and the property is remarketed. However, even this non requirement would need careful consideration especially if there has been a change of sharer or modifications of any kind. Also worth noting, whilst it is generally thought listed buildings are exempt, this is not always the case and can differ from council to council.  

Where there is no legal obligation to have an EPC or to comply with MEES on the 1st April 2020, Landlords should still consider getting properties up to a certain standard. Climate change remains forefront of the Government’s agenda. We are likely to see more regulation, amendments to existing Acts and case law precedents closing any loopholes in the current regulations, not to mention the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act which came into effect 20 March 2019, and it's extention effective on the 20 March 2020.  

We advise all our Landlords that it is best practice to have an EPC or seek independent advice if they believe that they may be exempt. The onus to comply and pay  penalties does fall squarely on the Landlord. The Governments 115 page guidance can be found here.   

If you are an existing Alexandre Boyes Landlord and you are not sure how this may affect you or you would like us to arrange an EPC please get in touch with our DIrector of Lettings Emma Gasson at emma@alexandre-boyes.co.uk or your usual office contact.