Uncertainty surrounds the requirements for landlords to meet the April 1st 2018 deadline for all new private residential lettings to meet minimum energy standards with an EPC rating no lower than E.
A government consultation has been opened this week into the details of the MEES implementation and will close just two weeks before the new rules come into force.
www.farminguk.com is warning that this uncertainly could result in chaos for rural landlords in the residential lettings market, not knowing until the last minute how to comply with the new energy efficiency standards, known as MEES – Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.
After April 1st 2018 it will be illegal for a private landlord to let a property with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating lower than E to a new tenant, but landlords are still in the dark as to exactly what is required and what they will be expected to do, until the consultation ends.
The Country Landowners Association (CLA) has said that although it supports the principles behind the MEES, time has run out for the Government to consult properly on changes and provide the right guidance to landlords.
Tim Breitmeyer, CLA President, has said that the residential lettings market will be in “chaos” as time has run out on Government, leaving itself insufficient time to consult on the necessary changes to the MEES legislation, and to ensure that landlords are given the correct guidance to meet the requirements on time.
Mr Breitmeyer has said:
“We have repeatedly called on the Government to revise the MEES regulations for the past two years but time is running out.
“Closing this consultation just two weeks before the rules take effect is really leaving landlords in the lurch.
“Properties could be taken off the rural rental market because some landlords will be unable to find the money needed to make energy improvements at such short notice.”
Speaking about the poor timing of the consultation Mr Breitmeyer said that despite this, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have come up with some sensible ideas to help landlords make homes more energy efficient.
He went on:
“The proposed cost cap of £2,500 per property goes some way to help clarify and simplify the contribution a landlord must make.
“However, landlords who acted early to comply with MEES are penalised because only money spent after 1 October 2017 will count towards to the cap.
“We will be responding to the consultation to argue that any money spent improving a property since the regulations were first published in July 2015 should count towards it.”
Domestic Private Rented Sector minimum level of energy efficiency – consultation here