If you are a landlord with property in Worcestershire which may not be the most energy-efficient, new rules being introduced in April could give you a shock.
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard, or MEES as it is known, will make it illegal for anyone to let property with an Energy Performance Certificate rating lower than an E.
So that means if any of your properties currently have a rating of F or G, you will need to do some work pretty quickly to improve their energy efficiency or you risk being landed with a rather hefty fine.
Trading Standards will be enforcing the new rules, and penalties will be based on the rateable value of the property – with a maximum fine of £150,000.
It’s important to understand that the regulations apply to new tenancies or the renewal of existing tenancies. So, so if your tenancy is on a fixed term which is due for renewal after 1st April 2018, you will have until the renewal date to carry out the necessary improvements. However, if your tenancy has rolled over onto a periodic tenancy before 1st April 2018, you will have until 2020 to get your property up to standard.
However, from April 2023 – only five years away – MEES will cover all tenancies, even on properties where a periodic tenancy is ongoing.
We would advise all landlords to take action to ensure the value of their properties does not diminish, because any falling below the minimum standards would quickly become very undesirable to potential investors.
A good starting point is to check the energy rating for your properties or, if you have carried out any improvement works since the last EPC was registered, it would be advisable to have it re-assessed.
Energy Performance Certificates are valid for 10 years but if your property was given a D or an E rating a while ago, you could find it being downgraded to an F or a G because assessments are more accurate now.
If that’s the case, you need to know sooner rather than later so you can take the necessary action and avoid the possibility of being fined.
For more advice about property management, give me a call on 01562 745082.