Energy Performance Certificates
The Domestic Private Rented Property Minimum Standard (MEES)
It is a legal requirement for rental properties to have a minimum energy performance rating of E or above on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Regulations 2018 apply to all tenancies from 1st April 2020. Properties rated F or G are substandard under these regulations and should not be let, though there are some exemptions available.
The government is considering whether to increase the minimum EPC rating to C at some stage in the future.
Why were MEES introduced?
These regulations aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help tenants save on their energy bills. As well as helping combat climate change, improvements to properties can result in huge energy cost saving for tenants. For example, a tenant whose home is improved from a G to an E rating could see their energy costs reduced by £1,150 a year.
Find an EPC for a property
You can find out a properties EPC rating or find a local domestic energy assessor here:
An EPC lasts for 10 years and must be renewed if the property is relet or sold after that time.
Advice for Landlords
The Government has issued MEES guidance for landlords, which can be found here:
As well as helping counter global warming, reducing energy costs makes tenancies more sustainable and avoids unnecessary costs for landlords.
Officers from the Council are currently contacting landlords of substandard properties that are F or G rated.
Letting out substandard F or G rated properties could cost a landlord a fine of up to £5,000 per property if the MEES regulations are not complied with.
Please see the council’s penalty charge principles which describes the different fees that can be applied:
The government requires councils to enforce the regulations and expects landlords to invest up to £3,500 to provide energy efficiency improvements in each rental property.
Not all homes can be brought up to the minimum E standard. The MEES regulations allow landlords to apply for Exemptions in certain situations, including:
- Where all the ‘relevant energy efficiency improvements’ for the property have been made (or there are none that can be made) and the property remains substandard
- Third-party consent cannot be obtained – i.e., tenant refuses access
- circumstances where cavity wall insulation, external wall insulation systems, and internal wall insulation systems are not appropriate.
- If the required improvements would result in a reduction of more than 5 per cent in the market value of the property.
- Temporary exemption for six months from the date a landlord becomes the landlord of the property in question in certain circumstances.
Applying for Exemptions
The government has published guidance on applying for exemptions, you can find those requirements here:
The council has a duty to see that landlords are complying with the MEES regulations. This includes checking information used to register exemptions, and you may be contacted and asked to provide further information.
Landlords seeking an exemption for a property must register on the National Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register. The National Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register can be found here:
NOTE: Registering an exemption does not excuse a landlord from their obligations under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to a property to ensure it is “fit for habitation”. That includes freedom from prescribed hazards including “Excess Cold” for which the council can require improvements to be made under the Housing Act 2004.
You can find out if an existing property has a registered exemption here:
When registering exemptions, appropriate evidence must be uploaded to the Exemptions Register. The council has a duty to see that landlords are complying with the MEES regulations, and this includes checking information used to register exemptions.
Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas
Historic Buildings, Listed Buildings or buildings within a conservation area may be exempt if:
"Compliance with the minimum energy requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance".
This is not a blanket exemption. If a building is protected, it may still be possible to make improvements. This is only possible where the character or appearance is not altered.
Unacceptable alterations in most protected buildings would be:
- Double Glazing
- New doors and windows
- External wall insulation
- External boiler flues
However, there are many more low impact measures that may be acceptable. The onus is on the owner to understand which works may, or may not, be permitted on their property.
When applying for an exemption, owners will need to evidence that:
- All recommended measures on their EPC would unacceptably alter the character or appearance of the building. And
- That none of the recommended measures could have been carried out, to improve the energy efficiency of the building.
Owners of such properties should seek advice from the Planning Department and apply for planning permission where necessary.
For more information or to register a complaint, please contact: