Posted on December 06, 2017
Energy Performance Certificates, or EPCs, have been a feature of property lettings since August 2007. It would be no exaggeration to say that few landlords or tenants take much notice of the energy efficiency rating of a property.
All that is likely to change with effect from 1 April 2018 when the Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating Standards (MEES) are introduced.
With very few exceptions, a new lease of residential premises must have a minimum energy efficiency rating of E on the EPC and for commercial premises, the rating must be a minimum of F or G.
Landlords of residential premises should take care, because if a statutory periodic tenancy comes into existence following the ending of a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy, this is treated as new tenancy so the MEES will apply.
From 1 April 2020, a landlord of residential premises will be unable continue to let premises unless the premises have an E rating in place. Therefore, a property must be brought up to the minimum E rating before 1 April 2020.
In the case of commercial premises, these cannot continue to be let from 1 April 2023 unless the minimum F or G rating is in place.
The situation with regard to listed buildings or buildings in conservations areas is unclear, and specialist advice will need to be taken into account to ascertain if an EPC and therefore, MEES will apply.
There will be a civil penalty of £4,000 if the requirements are breached.