Landlords are required to ensure their properties meet the Domestic Minimum Energy Efficient Standard (MEES). Any landlord who lets out a property using an assured tenancy which also requires an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) must make sure their property has an EPC rating of E or higher. The EPCs range from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least. The better the EPC rating, the cheaper the energy bills are likely to be. When a tenant moves into a property, the landlord is legally required to provide them with the EPC.
The UK Government has recently proposed further changes to the MEES, which state that all rental properties will be required to have an EPC rating of C or higher. This requirement is due by 2025 for new tenancies and by 2028 for existing tenancies. These changes are part of the Government’s longer-term goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. If you are a landlord of an older building, reaching an EPC rating of C can be more difficult and may require looking into the insulation of walls, floors and loft spaces, installation of double-glazed windows, improved heating systems and renewable energy systems.
Landlords are not required to spend more than £3,500 on installing energy efficiency improvements in their homes. If the amendments to a property will cost more than £3,500, then the landlord should make the improvements that they can up to the value of this cap. Once the cap has been reached, they can apply for something called an ‘all improvements made’ exemption. Several other exemptions can be found in more detail on the gov.uk website but include affordability, consent refusal from mortgage lenders or structural problems. All exemptions are valid for five years and must be registered on the PRS Exemption Register.
To have an EPC rating updated, a landlord must get in touch with an approved domestic energy assessor. These can also be found via the gov.uk website. The cost of the assessment will depend on the size of the property, and tenants must be given a minimum of 24 hours’ notice before any appointments.
From October, all households will be provided with a discount of £400 to support the rising cost of energy bills.