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Code of Conduct Code of Conduct for Domestic Energy Assessors

 

MEES PRS Exemption

 

Since April 2018, landlords have been unable to let their property to NEW tenants unless it has a minimum energy efficiency rating of an E (unless exempted) on its Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

On 1st April 2020, this will be extended to cover ALL existing tenancies (April 2023 for commercial premises).

If your property is currently empty, and you are not planning to let it, you don’t need to take any action to improve its rating until you decide to let it again.

   

Funding improvements to your property

The cost cap: you will never be required to spend more than £3,500 (including VAT) on energy efficiency improvements.

If you cannot improve your property to EPC E for £3,500 or less, you should make all the improvements which can be made up to that amount, then register an ‘all improvements made’ exemption.

Applying for an exemption could be a short-term solution to a long term problem – and could end up costing you money.

If you have a low EPC, applying for an exemption should really be your last resort.

 

Any exemption registered on the database triggers an automatic email to the relevant local authority, informing them that the premises is F or G band.

The local authority could then take action under the housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) to force the landlord to carry out improvements works to remedy a cold hazard. In short, you may have to do the works anyway.

Although HHSRS does not mention any specific EPC ratings as being equivalent to a Category 1 Hazard, the lower the EPC the greater the probability that action would be warranted.

The recently published Government’s Clean Growth Strategy indicates that they will be shortly looking at increasing the energy efficiency standards that will apply and increasing the minimum EPC band at which premises may be let over the coming years.

Landlords with band E premises should look carefully at their premises and carry out any less disruptive and cost-effective works as soon as they can and consider scheduling in other energy refurbishments over the medium term.

Landlords with an F band whose rental properties are of solid wall construction should consider undertaking a new EPC assessment as the EPC software was upgraded in November 2018 improving the solid wall u-value used in the calculation.

According to the Building Research Establishment (BRE) around 100,000 PRS homes will be upgraded into Band E and therefore unaffected by the current restrictions.

Quite simply put, landlords with F & G ratings MUST take urgent action. 

 

Feel free to contact us to discuss how we can provide guidance on Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.