April 2020: Changes in regulations for EPCs

A lot of landlords are still unaware of the regulations for MEES (minimum energy efficiency standard) and what it entails. So, we thought we’d break it down for you:
The previous changes that came about in 2018, meant that landlords of low scoring properties were required to conduct repairs or changes to their properties to upgrade them to band E or higher, once their current tenant had vacated. If they failed to increase the rating, then they could not enter into any new tenancies.
This has now changed and from April 2020 all continuing tenancies will be affected and it will not just be at re-let stage when this applies. Landlords who don’t adhere to the rules could face a civil penalty of up to £5,000 for non-compliance, with the potential fine varying depending on the length of the breach. Put simply, the vast majority of landlords will be breaking the law if they continue to rent out a property with an EPC rating of F- or G- after April 1 2020.  
In previous discussions, the government proposed that landlords who faced costs exceeding £2,500 (to increase their EPC rating), would be exempt from making these expensive upgrades and could obtain an exemption certificate to prove this. 
However, on the 5th November 2020, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry, announced that the Government are changing this to £3,500. This means that some landlords could have a steep bill to contend with before they can re-let their property. 
This means you must act now because you could face financial penalties for non-compliance up to £5000 for domestic properties and up to £150,000 for non-residential.

The key point to remember:

EPCs have been required by law since 2008 in England and Wales and 2009 in Scotland. Since 1st April 2018, all new lets and renewal tenancies must have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate. These regulations came into effect for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any queries or keep up to date by checking the ‘Energy Act’ on the government website.

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