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Archive for October, 2017

‘MEES’ - it’s all the rage!

In our newsletter of March 2015 we reported on the then forthcoming minimum energy efficiency standards in relation to both residential and commercial property rentals.  Enforcement all seemed a long time in the future but April 2018, when the Regulations become effective, is now just around the corner and ‘MEES’ is talked about everywhere.

Just by way of a reminder, from 1 April 2018 landlords of privately rented commercial and non-commercial properties in England and Wales will be unable to grant a new or renewed tenancy if their properties do not have an energy perforance certificate (’EPC’) recording a rating of at least an E.  EPCs give an energy efficiency rating of anything from A (most efficient) to G and are required whenever a property is constructed, sold or rented.  From April 2020, all rented domestic properties must meet the minimum E rating (whether there is a change in a tenancy or not) and the rule will also apply to non-domestic rented property from April 2023.  Despite updated Regulations having been published in June 2016, there will be many landlords caught out by the implementation of MEES.

The Govenment Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has this month, October 2017, published guidance for landlords of both domestic and non-domestic properties.  Both are available on the Gov.UK website and are well worth detailed consideration.  They explain the regulations, relevant improvements which may be made to property in order to increase its energy efficiency rating, any exemptions, enforcement and the appeal system.

The effect of MEES on the rental market has obviously yet to be felt and there will be many questions still to be answered.  What happens, for instance, if a tenant makes an application for a new tenancy of its commercial property protected by the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1954 but the property has an energy efficiency rating of only F or G?  We wait with interst to see how the courts deal with this potential legal conundrum - will they force the landlord to conduct works or award the tenant damages for its lost right to a new tenancy?  Watch this space!