Investors and landlords urged to prepare for the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES)
Investors and landlords are being urged to prepare as the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) for both residential and commercial properties in England and Wales comes into force on 1 April 2018.
According an expert opinion on the topic, MEES contains two separate requirements: from 1 April 2018, landlords will not be permitted to grant a lease of a property with an EPC rating below E unless they have carried out all possible cost-effective energy efficiency improvement works, or an exemption applies. Then, from 1 April 2020, (in the case of residential properties) or 1 April 2023 (in the case of commercial properties), landlords will not be permitted to continue to let property with an EPC rating below E on an existing lease unless they have carried out all possible cost-effective energy efficiency improvement works, or an exemption applies.
For all commercial properties, cost-effective energy efficiency improvement works fall into two categories, namely either works that can be wholly paid for by a Green Deal plan and works to improve energy efficiency that will pay for themselves within seven years or less.
Energy efficiency experts also argued that it is only necessary to carry out sufficient works to bring the property up to an EPC rating of E, although owners are of course permitted to do more. Where there are no cost-effective works that can be done, or where all cost-effective works have been done and the property is still below an EPC rating of E, the landowner is allowed to grant a lease.
However, the assessment will need to be repeated after five years, as works that are not cost-effective now may have become cost-effective by then, and different types of improvements may then be available.
Various exemptions are also available, although they last for a maximum of five years and do not pass automatically to a future owner.
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