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. They are not means tested, nor benefit dependent – every house qualifies for some level of grant funding. This type of Grant is being withdrawn in September 2018.
What are the MEES and Regulations?
Under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property (England & Wales)) Regulations 2015, MEES, from 1st April 2018, it will be unlawful to let out domestic properties which have an Energy Performance Certificate 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 CO2 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, or 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. A tenant can raise a case with the First-Tier General Regulatory Chamber if they feel a landlord is non-compliant.
Are there any exemptions?
Landlords may be exempt when.
- The property is excluded from having an EPC.
- Improvements are not cost-effective, either within a 7 years payback or under the Green Deal.
- 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 – terraced, semi-detached, detached, 2 bed, 3 bed, 4 bed etc. We then sell these Carbon Emission savings to one of the Gas and Electricity companies – and 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.
Cavity Wall Insulation Grants – A 3 bedroom End of Terrace will get a Grant of £568, a 3 bedroom semi will get a Grant of £524, a 3 bed detached £882 and a 3 bed detached bungalow will get a Goverment Grant of £621.
Loft Insulation Grants – The following Grants are for lofts with no more than 100mm of existing insulation. A 3 bedroom End of Terrace will get a Grant of £161, a 3 bedroom semi will get a Grant of £177, a 3 bed detached £223 and a 3 bed detached bungalow will get a Goverment Grant of £397.
The above Grants also assume that the main form of heating is Mains Gas with a Central Heating Boiler. If the main form of heating is Electricity, Oil, Coal or LPG the Grants will be higher. The Grants will also be higher if there are more than 3 bedrooms, but less if there are fewer than 3 bedrooms.
The Government Insulation Grant Scheme is changing in September 2018. The exact impact of these changes is still uncertain, and some will be geographically based. For this interim period it is probably best to give us a call to discuss your needs.
My tenant is on benefits, will I get a bigger Grant?
Enhanced Grants are available for those in receipt of qualifying benefits. The income thresholds for those receiving Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits and Universal Credits have been significantly increased. So even if your tenant did not qualify 6 months ago for an enhanced Grant, they might qualify today. The qualification for an Enhanced Grant is being widened in September 2018.
Energy Performance Certificates
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. 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 £40 – £45, semi-detached house £45 – £60 and a detached house £60 – £84. The exact price will be dependant upon the number of bedrooms and locality. We can also offer some discount when there are a number of EPC’s to be produced.
Home Insulation Assessment
Basically, this is an EPC, but with an assessment/ survey of the property’s existing insulation.
A Domestic Energy Assessor has to carryout a non-intrusive survey to produce an EPC. They are not allowed to drill a wall to check for cavity wall insulation. Nor rummage around a loft (in fact many don’t even look in the loft).
In the case of cavity walls, we would drill a 12mm hole in the wall(s) and insert a boroscope. Then with a camera assess suitability for insulation. A full survey of the loft space would be carried out, together with a survey of any rooms in the roof.
We produce a report of our findings together with various solutions, and details of any funding that may be available.
The cost for this is additional insulation assessment is just £20 on top of the EPC fee.
If you wish to discuss any of the above, please give us a call on one of the numbers below.