Property owners face rising minimum energy standards

Roseanna McNally, Bartons Solicitors.

As of 1st April 2018 new regulations, also known as ‘MEES’, have introduced a minimum ‘E’ rating for new lets and tenancy renewals of residential or commercial property. It is now unlawful to let property with an energy rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’ without a registered exemption.

The government plans to extend the regulations in 2020 to include existing residential tenancies and from 2023 to include existing non-residential tenancies. It is possible that the minimum energy standard will be raised in future years, perhaps to a minimum ‘C’ rating.  As a result, the marketability and value of energy inefficient properties may be reduced and fines of up to £150,000 can be levied for non compliance.

To find out a property’s current rating an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required and if there is one this can be viewed by searching the EPC register online. An EPC lasts for a period of 10 years but may need to be renewed if changes have been made to the property. If the rating is below or near to the minimum standard it would be prudent to consider exemptions and the possibility of improvements, availability of funding and the ability to implement these.  Detailed guides can be found on the website.