Stephen Boyle, from law firm Hart Brown, comments on the new regulations for multi-let landlords.
Just as EU energy efficiency regulators have recently outlawed traditional lightbulbs, high powered vacuum cleaners and the £4 coffee maker, so they have now focused their attention upon landlords of multi-let buildings.
The time honoured system of dividing the cost of supplying heating, hot water and (where available) air conditioning by the number of tenants and charging them an equal share through the service charge is set to become a criminal offence following the introduction of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014.
Landlords of such buildings, whether commercial or residential, must register with the National Measurement Office not later than 30 April, 2015, and must install individual meters, or cost allocators in EU speak, in each unit by 31 December, 2016. Failure to do so can result in criminal as well as civil penalties.
This is a wakeup call for landlords of any kind of multi-let building where the cost of heat, hot water and air conditioning is not separately metered.
First of all, they must get themselves registered and, secondly, they must survey their properties to assess the cost and feasibility of installing individual meters.
There is an exemption where it is not cost effective or practical to install meters, but the case has to be made for this.
If the rapid demise of our favourite domestic appliances is anything to go by, the regulators will be pretty hard to persuade.
About Hart Brown
Hart Brown, a leading law firm with offices throughout Surrey and in London, has been offering a full range of legal and financial investment services to businesses and individuals for the past 90 years. With 15 partners, more than 110 staff, six offices and a reputation for delivering high quality service, Hart Brown is committed to building long-term relationships with its clients.
In particular, the firm puts great emphasis on regular communication with clients, as well as the need for efficiency and value for money in order to deliver a high-quality service. Hart Brown currently operates from offices located in Cobham, Cranleigh, Godalming, Guildford, Wimbledon Village and Woking.
For more information visit www.hartbrown.co.uk