Information about the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations and what to do if you are a landlord or a tenant with a ‘substandard’ domestic private rented property
A ‘substandard’ domestic property is presently one where the valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is rated an F or G.
Landlords must ensure that their rented properties reach at least an energy efficiency rating of E on the EPC or have registered a valid exemption on the UK Government’s Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.
To check if the property is not covered by the legislation and is exempt, please visit the GOV.UK landlord guidance page.
Landlords are required to disclose the EPC score when advertising a property to rent and must provide a copy of the EPC to any new tenant.
Tenants of domestic rented properties should check the EPC for their home and may request permission to undertake improvements themselves.
If you are concerned about the energy efficiency of your home, you may contact the council. The council may use its enforcement powers to ensure that your home is made more energy efficient.
If you are a tenant of a privately rented property and you are concerned that:
- The valid EPC is less than an E
- You have not been provided with an EPC, or
- You are otherwise concerned about the energy performance of your home
You can use our online form to report the issue(s):
About the Regulations
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations (MEES) Regulations 2015 came into force in April 2018. They require landlords of certain residential properties to ensure minimum energy efficiency standards are met.
The MEES regulations empower the council to:
- issue a financial penalty,
- require improvements to be made, and
- make a publication penalty
If you intend to let or continue to let a residential property, you'll need to do work to bring the properties EPC up to an E rating or above (unless the property is exempted). You're required to invest money up to a costs cap of £3,500 (inclusive of VAT) per property.
You can find out more on the GOV.UK website.
The PRS Exemptions Register is for properties which:
- are legally required to have an EPC
- are let on a relevant tenancy type
- cannot be improved to meet the minimum standard of EPC band E as prescribed
It may be possible to claim an exemption under the MEES Regulations under the following criteria:
All relevant improvements made exemption
Where the EPC for a property remains below E after relevant improvements have been made up to the £3,500 costs cap or where there are no such improvements that can be made.
High cost exemption
Where no relevant improvement can be made because the costs of installing even the cheapest recommended measure would exceed the £3,500 cost cap.
Wall insulation exemption
Where the only relevant improvements are cavity wall insulation, external wall insulation or internal wall insulation (for external walls) and such measures would negatively impact on the fabric or structure of the building.
Where the relevant improvements for the substandard property require consent from a third party (such as a superior landlord, mortgagee, planning authority or a tenant) and such consent cannot be obtained despite the landlord’s reasonable efforts to obtain it.
Where the relevant improvements would decrease the market value of the property by more than 5%.
New landlord exemption
Where a landlord is required to grant a new lease of a sub-standard property pursuant to an agreement for lease, or court order. A new landlord exemption applies for six months only.
With the exception of the new landlord exemption, the exemptions listed above will apply for five years, after which the landlord will be required to try to improve the EPC rating or apply for and register a further exemption.
New tenancies of residential property granted or continued to be let in breach of MEES will remain valid.
However, landlords that let or continue to let residential properties in breach of MEES may face a publication penalty and a fine per breach of the Regulations.
Steps for compliance
Landlords should continue to take appropriate steps to identify residential properties within their portfolio that:
- have an EPC rating of less than E, and
- are substandard for the purpose of the MEES Regulations
If landlords intend to let a substandard property on a new tenancy, within the scope of MEES, they must take appropriate steps first. Before the tenancy is granted you must:
- improve the EPC for the property, or
- register an exemption
Continuing to let
If a substandard property is already let, on an existing tenancy, the landlord must either:
- ascertain the works required to improve the EPC for the property, or
- prepare to register an exemption
Properties not covered by the legislation
Where an EPC F or G rated privately rented property is not covered by the regulations, an exemption may not be required. For example:
- a property which is not legally required to have an EPC
- a property not let on a relevant tenancy type such as an assured tenancy, a regulated tenancy or a domestic agricultural tenancy
To check if your property is not covered by the legislation and is exempt, please visit the GOV.UK landlord guidance page.
Please note; properties which are covered by the Regulations but have been improved to a minimum of EPC E, won't need to be on the register.
You can find out more on the GOV.UK guide to EPC certificates document.
You can find an accredited EPC domestic energy assessor or check a property has an EPC certificate on the EPC register website.