It’s important to remember that, despite living through a health emergency, anyone renting out property must still meet their legal obligations. So don’t forget about the MEES Regulations. With effect from 1 April, landlords can’t let private rental properties with an EPC rating lower than E. From now on, F or G ratings are not acceptable and these properties are considered “sub-standard” under the regulations
Some properties are exempted if the landlord can prove that undertaking the relevant energy efficiency improvements would reduce the market value of the property by more than 5%, or that the cost of buying and installing the cheapest recommended improvement is more than £3,500. Also, in specified circumstances, new landlords buying a sub-standard property with a sitting tenant may be exempt for a certain period of time.
Exemptions are available if a landlord needs the consent of a third party to carry out relevant improvement works, but can’t get that consent. Also, if one of the recommended wall insulation systems cannot or should not be installed in a property even though the cost does not exceed £3,500.
If a landlord thinks one of these exemptions applies, it must be registered on the Private Rented Sector Exemptions Register, together with supporting evidence.
Luckily for renters, their tenancy will still be valid even if the property they are renting is now classed as sub-standard under the new rules. They will not need to move out but their landlord is obliged to bring the property up to standard. In the current climate, this could take time as the need for social distancing will make some enhancements difficult to carry out.
The MEES regulations are not such good news for landlords. They could find themselves facing enforcement action by their local authority and fines if their rental property is found not to comply but there will likely be some leeway given during the Coronavirus outbreak. If in doubt, check with your local authority.
Click here to read the regulations in full.
To ensure your rental property is compliant with these and all other legal requirements that impact landlords, why not sign up for our free lettings app PlanetRent today. It’s quick and easy and takes the pain out of compliance.