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Without exception we are all experiencing unprecedented times as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic which is affecting all of our daily lives. However, despite this, landlords should not forget about their responsibilities including the remaining provision of the minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) which come into force on 1st April 2020.
Claire Pile MARLA, of Stags Residential Lettings reinforces to landlords that from 1st April 2020 all domestic rented properties in England and Wales, that are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), will need to ensure that their rating is E or above. “Despite the current Pandemic, Government have confirmed that these regulations will come into force on 1st April 2020 and therefore landlords need to be aware, and take the necessary action to ensure they do not fall short of the legislation, potentially putting themselves at risk of penalties.”
Where the current rating of an EPC is an F or G, the landlords need to improve the property rating to an E or above, or alternatively register an exemption, in order to continue letting their property. This now covers all letting properties even where there has been no change to the tenancy.
To clarify, since 1st April 2019 landlords of domestic properties with a rating below E must carry out up to £3,500 worth of works improving their energy efficiency, even if they cannot obtain other funding to assist with the costs. If a landlord cannot meet the requirement to upgrade to a band E for £3,500 or less, then they must make all improvements up to the cost limit, and can then register for an ‘all improvements made’ exemption from the regulations.
Along with the ‘all improvements made’ exemption there are other exemptions which may apply to a property, all of which can be seen on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemption Register.
The MEES legislation forms just one element of a Landlords responsibility when letting a property, none of which can be ignored. Despite the Coronavirus outbreak landlords are still expected to try and gain access to the property to enable an assessor to complete the report, and where this is not possible due to a tenant self isolating, then their efforts should be fully documented.
If you are unsure if your property meets the requirements and you would like further advise contact your local Stags Letting team who are still available to help.