In 2015 the government introduced the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and help meet the government’s carbon emissions targets. You may be aware that as of April 2018, landlords have not been able to grant new leases of commercial properties that have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of below E. This will be extended to existing leases from 1 April 2023, meaning that it will be unlawful for landlords to continue to let properties on existing leases where they have an EPC rating of F or G.

Unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of landlords who are not familiar with this and in some cases EPC have expired and not been renewed.

Are there any exemptions?

There are certain exemptions for complying with the Minimum Energy Efficient Standards regulations. For example, 

  1. where carrying out the improvement works would devalue the property by more than 5% or 
  2. where the works would not pay for themselves in terms of energy cost savings within seven years.

If landlord are considering that their properties fall within one of the exceptions they must register their exemption on the government register in order for it to be valid, and they must renew the exemption every five years.

What should Landlords be doing? 

It’s simple. Check all your properties and make sure they are up to regulation requirements. If they not then carry out the improvements but before you do that see if you fall under one of the exceptions. Landlords should note that the government has proposed to increase the minimum EPC rating for commercial properties to a B rating by 2030. If you are undertaking improvement work it might be useful to consider making changes that reaches the B rating standards.

It’s important that this is done. If not then non compliance can result in a fine of up to £150,000 and a landlord details can be placed on a public register.

Further details please do not hesitate to contact our commercial team by phone or email at hello@alison-law.co.uk.

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