Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) & Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
Do you know your property’s EPC rating?
We are advising private landlords and agents of their legal obligations around energy efficiency and EPCs when renting out a property.
Since the 1st April 2020, it has been unlawful under MEES to let out a domestic property to new or existing tenants if the property has an EPC rating of F or G, unless an exemption applies.
Check an EPC here Find an energy certificate - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Local authorities are responsible for ensuring landlords meet their obligation under The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015. The Private Sector Housing Team at Dover District Council is currently working with landlords whose properties require improvement.
Landlords may be able to register an exemption under certain circumstances. Details on the types of exemptions can be found below.
Properties can be checked to see if they have a current exemption on the PRS Exemption Register Search for exemptions - PRS exemptions register (beis.gov.uk).
What is an EPC?
An EPC is a certificate that shows how energy efficient a property is by giving it a rating with A as the most efficient, to G as the least efficient. The document includes estimated energy costs, as well as a summary of a property’s energy performance related features. An EPC is valid for 10 years and must be made available for prospective tenants. A landlord cannot issue a s21 notice unless the property has a valid EPC.
EPCs also include recommendations on measures that would make the property more energy-efficient, along with estimated costs for implementing the changes and the potential savings that could be made.
If a property does not have an EPC and it should have, this can be reported to Kent County Council Trading Standards department via Report a problem with a trader or product - Kent County Council
What are private landlords required to do under the legislation?
Private landlords must either:
- Ensure their rented properties have a minimum EPC rating of E or above; or
- Register a valid exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register.
Landlords who fail to do so are in breach of the regulations.
What is an exemption?
A landlord can register an exemption if any of the following criteria is met, and sufficient evidence is provided:
- ‘High cost’ exemption – The prohibition on letting a property below an EPC rating of E does not apply if the cost of making even the cheapest recommended improvement would exceed £3,500 (inc. VAT).
- ‘All improvements made’ exemption – Where all the ‘relevant energy improvements’ for the property have been made (or there are none that can be made), and the property remains sub-standard.
- ‘Wall insulation’ exemption - Certain wall insulation systems as set out in the guidance may not be suitable in certain situations, even where they have been recommended for a property, and where they meet the funding requirements.
- ‘Consent’ exemption - Depending on circumstances, certain energy efficiency improvements may legally require third party consent before they can be installed in a property, such as the local authority planning consent, mortgage lenders, or other third parties such as tenants.
- ‘Devaluation’ exemption - An exemption from meeting the minimum standard will apply where the landlord has obtained a report from an independent surveyor who is on the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) register of valuers advising that the installation of specific energy efficiency measures would reduce the market value of the property, or the building it forms part of, by more than five per cent.
- The above exemptions usually last for 5 years.
- ‘New landlord’ exemption - If a person becomes a landlord in any of the circumstances set out in the guidance, a temporary exemption from the prohibition on letting a sub-standard property, or on continuing to let a sub-standard property, will apply. The exemption will last for 6 months from the date they become the landlord.
How can I register an exemption?
Landlords and/or their agents can register an exemption here with the required proof:
Have you used this service before - PRS exemptions register (beis.gov.uk)
What are the penalties for breaching the regulations?
If a local authority confirms that a property is (or has been) let in breach of the Regulations, they may serve a financial penalty up to 18 months after the breach and/or publish details of the breach for at least 12 months. Local authorities can decide on the level of the penalty, up to maximum limits set by the Regulations.
The maximum penalties amounts apply per property and per breach of the Regulations. They are:
- up to £2,000 and/or publication penalty for renting out a non-compliant property for less than 3 months
- up to £4,000 and/or publication penalty for renting out a non-compliant property for 3 months or more
- up to £1,000 and/or publication for providing false or misleading information on the PRS Exemptions Register
- up to £2,000 and/or publication for failure to comply with a compliance notice
The maximum amount you can be fined per property is £5,000 in total.
Where can I get help with funding?
Landlords will need to self-fund or where possible seek third party funding to a maximum of £3,500 (inc. VAT), for improvements.
Certain households may be eligible for funding to make energy efficient improvements to the property they rent, with permission from their landlord.
Further information and help on possible funding can be found here:
What can I do if I am a tenant and the property, I rent has an EPC rating of F or G?
As a tenant in a property with an EPC rating of F or G, or any other concerns of disrepair, you can seek help and advice from the Private Sector Housing Team email firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 01304 872397
Further Guidance and contacts