Meeting the MEES!
Have you heard about the MEES and wondering what they are?! First things first -MEES stands for Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in the residential and commercial private rented sector.
From 1st April 2018, it will be illegal to let or renew a tenancy for a property which has an F or G Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating and which is usually required to have an EPC. This change will apply within England and Wales and also applies to any statutory periodic tenancies which arise after an initial fixed term.
What does this mean for agents and landlords? For those properties which do not currently meet the minimum EPC E rating, measures should be put in place to improve their energy performance rating before the deadline. Depending on the property, these works could include installing loft insulation, wall insulation, upgrading boilers and heating systems etc.
Speak to any of your affected landlords about their options. One way of funding any upgrades would be to use the now privately funded Green Deal whereby the cost of the improvements would be met via the electricity bill (i.e. paid for by the tenant whilst in occupation). It is imperative to make tenants aware in advance if there is a Green Deal arrangement in place and the landlord should be advised that consents may be required, particularly from a freeholder or superior leaseholder.
Irrespective of the method of funding, this is a good opportunity for motivated letting agents to step in and assist where required. From 2020 the standards will apply to all existing tenancies in properties required to have an EPC unless a valid exemption applies.
Tenants already have the right to request their landlord’s consent to make energy improvements and the landlord cannot unreasonably withhold such consent.
Forward planning should make easy work of “meeting the MEES” and tenants will reap the benefits of warmer, more energy efficient homes.
Caroline Kenny AssocRICS DipRLM FARLA(retd) is a freelance residential lettings consultant as well as a Business Development Consultant to the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) email@example.com.