Countdown to MEES: will your property be lettable in April 2018?
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were introduced in March 2015 with the aim of improving the energy efficiency of privately rented properties. From 1st April 2018 all buildings in England or Wales will need to have a rating of A-E on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before they can be rented (this applies to new tenancies and renewals of tenancies) and from 1st April 2020 all existing tenancies will need to have a grade of A-E (there are limited exemptions, such as some listed buildings or very short lets). After these deadlines it will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, which carries a penalty of up to £4,000.
So how prepared are you or your agent for these changes? At Finders Keepers we pride ourselves on our hands-on property management; we have systems and processes in place to ensure that our managed properties remain compliant whether that is in terms of gas safety, smoke detectors or EPCs. When the regulations were introduced our Property Managers set to work, checking their portfolios of properties one by one to verify the EPC rating.
Where a property had a rating of E, F or G the Property Manager booked an energy assessor to re-evaluate – particularly as many EPCs had been carried out when the requirements came into effect in 2008 and improvements (for example, boiler replacements) have since been carried out at some properties. If the rating was still E, F or G then the landlord was consulted and either works were completed to improve the grading or a Property Improvement Plan (PIP) was put in place with the help of the assessor who can model the various improvements that could be made and their impact of the rating, and next steps were then put into place.
As a result of our scrupulous property management, 60% of our portfolio has either already had works completed or a PIP has been carried out and next steps have been agreed with the landlord. If you need proactive, hands-on property management call Emma Croft-Pearson today on 01865 311011.