The first stage of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) was introduced in April 2018. A year later, MEES 2019 has updated the previous conditions and landlords and letting agents need to be aware of the changes.
Main changes in MEES 2019
The main change for MEES 2019 means that from the 1 April this year, landlords have had to fund the installation of energy efficient measures in their properties themselves, in order to achieve minimum energy efficiency standards.
There is a spending cap, however of £3,500, including VAT, for overall improvement costs.
This means that the ‘no cost to landlord’ exemption set out in the Energy Efficiency Regulations 2015 no longer applies. Landlords are unable to use this exemption to prevent them making improvements to their property out of their own finances.
Third part funding may still be available in the form of Green Deal, Grants and ECO. However if those things are not available, from 1 April 2019, landlords have had to fund the improvements themselves.
If any landlords registered their exemptions before the 1 April cut off then they will still see changes. MEES 2019 means that their exemption period is no longer set at five years. Instead all improvements need to be made by April 2020 at the latest.
Landlords not meeting these minimum standards could face a penalty of up to £5,000.
This change should now future proof these regulations. Landlords are required to fund property improvements themselves when funding is not available. However their liability is clearly capped.
The next update to MEES will come on 1 April 2020, The regulations will then state that MEES applies to ALL residential property that is privately rented.
This means that if a property requires a domestic EPC, it must reach a minimum ‘E’ standard before it can be rented out. This applies to all leases whether new or existing.