Affecting both residential and commercial properties, MEES are, as the name suggests, the minimum energy efficiency standards permitted by law, with effect from 1 April 2018.
What does that mean?
For many years now, where a property is being sold or let out, an Energy Performance Certificate or EPC has to be produced. This gives the property a rating from A to G in terms of how energy efficient it was. Buyers and tenants have been largely uninterested in the EPC result because nothing really changed, whatever the rating. Now however, landlords cannot let out a property if it is sub-standard, i.e. it has an F or G rating.
The MEES do not, at present, affect the sales of property.
What will happen to sub-standard properties?
If the property is sub-standard, the landlord will have to look at carrying works to improve the energy efficiency and then get a new EPC to show it is no longer sub-standard. The intention of the legislation is that this will act to gradually improve the buildings in England and Wales and help the country meet its carbon reduction targets.
There are however a lot of exemptions and exclusions because not every property can be upgraded, nor is it always going to be economically viable to do so.
What about the future?
The intention is to gradually increase the rating considered to be sub-standard so that more and more properties have to be upgraded and improved. The MEES may soon apply to sales as well as leases. Further, renewal leases will soon become caught by MEES, so that long term tenants will be able to ask landlords to carry out improvements to the property.
The exclusions will also be kept under review, as improvements in technology may mean that what was once uneconomical will soon become viable.
For more information about renting out a property, either residential or commercial, please contact Andrew Rannie or any member of our property team.