Gemma Smith, associate solicitor in Blandy & Blandy LLP’s award-winning commercial property team, looks at the future of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), as set out in the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, came into force on April 1, 2018.
The introduction and regular review is part of the UK’s commitment to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
The requirements under the regulations are that, subject to certain exemptions:
* As of April 1, 2018 commercial landlords have not been able to lawfully grant a tenancy (even a renewal to an existing tenant) if the property has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G.
* From April 1, 2020 residential landlords will not be permitted to continue accepting rent from a tenant of a property which is already let if the property has an EPC rating of F or G.
* From April 1, 2023 commercial landlords will not be permitted to continue accepting rent from a tenant of a property which is already let if the property has an EPC rating of F or G.
There is now a suggestion that the minimum EPC rating for letting will be raised again in 2030 to either a B or C, quite an increase from the currently required E.
It is not clear at this point whether there will be a single implementation date in 2030 to the B or C level or if there will be incremental increases through this decade.
Incremental implementation is likely to be preferable in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and it is likely to be easier for landlords to keep up; though some may well prefer to carry out all of the works in one go – in which case, the answer is to do them earlier than required as they are likely to result in energy savings.
Whatever is decided in terms of implementation, it is clear that the intention is to significantly increase the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for rented buildings, so landlords, be prepared!
If you need advice on the impact of MEES on a letting or sale, please contact a member of our commercial property team.
For further information or legal advice, please visit www.blandy.co.uk.