LANDLORDS IN CARDIFF, SWANSEA, NEWPORT
AND THROUGHOUT SOUTH WALES.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), Home Insulation Assessments & Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
ARE YOUR RENTALS MEES READY FOR 1st APRIL 2018?
On 1/4/18 the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for Privately Rented Domestic Properties came into force.
Are you concerned about the changes to energy efficiency regulations affecting your domestic rental properties?
We may be able to help you. Owing to some major updates to the datasets used within the EPC software, the answer may be nothing more than just an updated EPC.
Also non-repayable Grants for improving the levels of home insulation are still available to tenants.
What are the MEES and Regulations?
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property (England & Wales)) Regulations 2015, are often referred to as MEES. It is unlawful to let out domestic properties which have an EPC rating of F or G.
Why were the MEES and Regulations introduced?
The regulations were made to improve energy efficiency of privately rented homes. Thus helping to meet UK targets of Carbon emission reductions under the Energy Act 2011.
Who does MEES affect and when?
From 1st April 2018, the regulations apply to landlords/property owners upon granting a lease to a new tenant. It also applies to lease renewals to an existing tenant.
In order to comply, all properties must meet MEES by undertaking permissible, appropriate and cost-effective improvements, unless exempt. Properties which are let on tenancies of more than 99 years, or less than 6 months, and some regulated tenancies such as housing associations will be excluded.
The regulations apply to all privately rented properties within the scope of the regulations from 1st April 2020.
What are the Penalties for non-compliance with MEES?
Fines of up to £5,000 can be enforced, depending on the type of infringement and the length of non-compliance. Tenants can raise a case with the First-Tier General Regulatory Chamber if they feel a landlord is non-compliant.
Are there any exemptions?
The “no cost” exemption will be removed on 1/4/20
On 31/3/20 all “no cost” exemptions will be deleted from the Exemption Register. Full Stop!
You must be able to show that you have spent at least £3,500 in an attempt to bring the EPC rating of the property up to an E in order to re-register an exemption.
Until then Landlords may be exempt when:
- The property is excluded from having an EPC
- Improvements are not cost-effective, either within a 7 years payback period or under the Green Deal (it is on its way back)
- It has been independently verified that improvements may decrease the value of the property by 5% or more
- Required third party consent cannot be obtained.
What Government Grants are available to me?
From April 2017, the system has been simplified and an energy assessment is no longer required. Instead, the Government have “deemed” an amount of Carbon Emission savings for each type of property. We then sell these Carbon Emission savings to one of the Gas and Electricity companies. That is how it is funded. We all pay an amount on our fuel bills towards this fund, so yes, we pay for it, as usual.
But the Government Home Insulation Grant Scheme has changed again (17/9/18). In some ways it is an improvement over the old scheme, but other aspects have got a whole lot worse.
The Standard Home Insulation Grant that everyone qualified for (even Richard Branson) has been withdrawn.
The Enhanced Home Insulation Grant – which you have to qualify for, has been broadened. Many people who did not qualify for this grant in the past will now qualify.
However, OFGEM who administer the grant scheme have stated that they will not allow a grant for F or G rated properties.
Flexible Funding Grants – A new type of Grant called “Flexible Funding” has also been introduced.
Cavity Wall Insulation Grants – In nearly all cases the insulation grant will cover the full cost.
Loft Insulation Grants – Grants are only available for lofts with no more than 100mm of existing insulation. If your tenant qualifies for a Grant it may still not cover the full cost.
Flexible Funding Grants – A new type of Grant called “Flexible Funding” has also been introduced. To find out more Click Here
Energy Performance Certificates
In April 2008 it became law that every privately rented property has to have a current EPC.
EPC’s have a lifespan of 10 years. So, 1,000’s of EPC’s are expiring each month, and have to be renewed.
We are fully qualified Domestic Energy Assessors, and can produce Energy Performance Certificates for your properties. Some very important updates have been made to the datasets used within the EPC software. These updates could change the energy rating by as much as 5 points, without any changes to the property.
Also, your EPCs maybe a few years old and do not reflect changes already made – such as a boiler upgrade.
It could move a property from an F rating up to an E rating – job done! – just for the cost of a new EPC and good for another 10 years.
However, there is talk that the 10 year life of an EPC could reduce to 5 years. There is also talk that the minimum requirement to let out a property could be increased to a D rating. This would bring England & Wales in line with Scottish proposals, but this would seem to be at least 5 years away.
Our charges for EPC’s are – Terraced house £49, semi-detached house £54 and a detached house £60 – £84. The exact price will be dependent upon the number of bedrooms and locality.
If you wish to discuss any of the above, please give us a call on one of the numbers below.