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If you let or lease any non-domestic building over 50m² in the private rental sector, then the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) apply to either you or your landlord/managing agent.

 

What are the MEES?

From April 2018, changes to legislation have made it unlawful to agree a new lease for a commercial property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G.

Why is it being enforced?

The Energy Act 2011 contains a number of provisions that have affected owners of a private property; the most significant of these is MEES, which aims to improve the energy efficiency of the most energy inefficient properties. MEES also contributes to the UK legislative targets of reducing CO₂ emissions for all buildings to around zero by 2050.

 

Who will MEES apply to?

MEES have applied to new lettings and lease renewals since 1 April 2018. The landlord/property owner needs to ensure that the property meets MEES before the lease is granted. However, as of 1 April 2023 all current privately rented property will be required to meet MEES.

 

Who will MEES not apply to?

Properties that do not require an EPC under current regulations will not be required to meet MEES. Moreover, MEES does not apply to short lettings (six months or less) and lettings over 99 years or more.

Are there any exemptions?

Landlords can be made exempt from MEES if they are able to demonstrate one of the following:

  • They have carried out all cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.
  • Measures identified that are not cost effective (devalue the property by 5% or more. Or fail to raise the EPC rating above an F)
  • If third-party consents are not available despite reasonable effort.

 

What are the key dates?

April 2018 – The regulations were enforced upon the granting of a new lease as well as lease renewals.

April 2023 – The regulations will apply to ALL privately rented property in scope of the regulations, including where a lease is already in place and a property is occupied.

 

Are there any penalties for non-compliance?

Financial penalties for non-compliance are linked to the rateable value of the property but could be as much as £150,000. Very important to consider.

In order to achieve the aim of MEES, to reduce UK emissions from buildings, the Government has declared its wish to raise the minimum standards to a D rating by 2025 and then a B rating by 2030.

The current minimum standards and the increase in them will affect the ability to lease properties and ultimately their value.

What do you need to do?

If your rented/leased property currently has a valid EPC, it needs to be an E rating or above. From April 2023, this applies not only to new leases but all existing ones that currently have occupants. If the property doesn’t have an EPC (maybe because it hasn’t required one) then we advise you to obtain one.
Without knowing what the EPC rating of your building is then it could be a major issue when you decide to sell or lease the property if it is below the minimum MEES standard. This would result in the property being unable to be leased or sold until the upgrade improvements have been made. Without the EPC, you cannot manage the process. This is vital if you need to begin making improvements to a D rating by 2025 and then a B rating by 2030.  By obtaining the EPC on a voluntary basis then you are not bound by the MEES legislation. 

 

How can we help and how are we different to other EPC assessors?

Yes, we can provide your EPC like many other qualified EPC assessors.  However, with MEES you need more than simply the EPC.  You need to know how to improve the EPC rating, then once you know this then you need a managed service to tender and then install the improvement recommendations.  This is where our Energy Freedom team can help to take advantage of our wide range of services.  Once these have been done, the EPC can be produced again to show the improved rating that meets the minimum standard of MEES.

Note on TM44 – if your property has an Air Conditioning system over 12kW then you are also legally required to have a TM44 certificate and report.  We can produce this at the same time as the EPC survey.  This will save money since you only pay for the survey time on 1 survey instead of 2.

For more information, please contact darren.myers@briar.zenergi.co.uk, call 01384 397777 or complete the enquiry form below.

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