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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) – cost cap

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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came into force on the 1st of April and new rules mean that private sector landlords may be facing a bigger bill than initially expected in order to keep up with the changes.

In an article on the 3rd of April, Landlord Today revealed that with effect from the beginning of the month, premises for any new tenancy in the private rented sector must achieve an energy efficiency rating of at least an E. With effect from April 2020, the same rules will also apply to all existing tenancies.

If the rating is lower – this is to say either an F or G – the landlord must make whatever alterations are necessary to the property in order to achieve at least an E rating before it can be lawfully let.

We discussed the details of the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) in an article in our Knowledge Base dated the 13th of September 2017. This included reference to the grounds on which landlords could apply for an exemption from the new standard on account of the undue cost of making the necessary alterations to the let property. Undue expense was then considered to be in those cases where the alterations involved had not paid for themselves – in terms of lower energy bills – within 7 years.

Under current rules, however, any private sector landlord could pay up to £3,500 for any alterations needed to comply with MEES and may only claim exemption if the proven costs are in excess of that amount.