MEES Part 2

Hello, again. Philip on the second video for MEES, minimum energy efficiency standards. So we covered in the first part why it exists and what it’s for and the reasoning behind it. Let’s look at what it relates to. It relates to and comes back from the energy performance certificates, EPCs.

Now, they started in August 2007 and have a 10-year validity, so some are already being renewed, and that makes a difference. It makes a change because 10 years ago, the methodology was slightly different to the methodology used today. The calculation for the actual EPC outcome is different, and they will change it again.

So you can find that the property that you had then without doing any work at all could have improved. Unfortunately, it might have gone down. We’ll hope it’s improved.

Now, it is possible that you don’t have to renew the EPC if there’s one in existence now and it’s gone past its 10 years because the tenant may want to stay. Now, as long as nothing changes within the tenancy, and we’ll come to that shortly, then the tipping point will be if the property is sold, if it’s let or re-let, which obviously, again, can come back to renewing the tenancy on a new lease.

There can be an increase in the rent. You could change your name. And lastly, if it’s improved dramatically. So it’s gone from single glazing to double glazing, then the EPC needs to be improved and to show that or perhaps you’ve added an additional rooms, an extension.

So if you are, at this moment in time, on a periodic tenancy, and you’ve remained on a periodic tenancy from a fixed term a few months ago or years ago. And you’ve come to the 1st of April, as long as nothing changes on the tenancy, you will go straight into ongoing situation.

You won’t have to change it. You won’t have to renew the tenancy. You won’t have to provide an EPC, but if the terms of the tenancy change and primarily, then main one’s going to be a rent increase, or if you had two single people moved in and some down the line, after the 1st of April this year, they decide they want to get married.

Therefore, you’ve got a change of name. The tenancy’s no longer Miss and Mr., it’s Mr. And Mrs., and that will affect the tenancy term. Now, be aware and we will cover this in a different video, under the GDPL, the General Data Protection Regulations, there is a clause about rectification, and this is where the member of the public, i.e. your tenant, can ask for something that you hold, information that you hold to be rectified to be correct.

Now, again, if we go back to the Miss and Mr., they get married. They may well ask you, no matter what you want to do, to rectify it, and you have to then change it, which means you could invoke a new EPC. You could, therefore, fall foul of the F and G rate, important you understand that one.

So the fine that you can face is up to £5,000. I think it is very unlikely, from talking to the councils down in the Southwest that they will impose that fine at this juncture. They are much more keen on enabling you as the landlord to keep your property, keep the tenants, keep it in the private rental sector.

You do not want to lose stock for rent. There’s a shortage as it is, and the social housing is very short, so they don’t want them coming to them. However, from the 1st of April 2020, all assured tenancies, primarily again, assured shorthold tenancies, will have to have an EPC of eight or above.

So the F and Gs, you will not be able to continue letting, periodic or otherwise or re-let, renew. That is where the councils, I think, will then come in and probably fine quite heavily on the levels particularly on those who they have been trying to coerce in the last two years to do something. So if they haven’t done anything, then you could have a problem.

There are two exemptions, alternative routes that provide the exemptions to allow a property that is under eight to continue to be let. Firstly, the landlord has made all the improvements that can be made, but the property still cannot get above or cannot get to an E rating.

Secondly, no improvement have been made, but there a valid exemption that can apply. Now, in both cases, just having the exemption is great, but it has to be registered. If it’s not registered with the private rental exemption register, which started in October 2017, it will be null and void. So you must make sure it’s registered.

And there is one interesting scenario, and that is that if you, as a landlord, decide you want to improve the property, but you improve it in such a way that it’s not complying with the energy efficiency improvement regulations set down in the Green Deal, then if those improvements do not get you to an E and above, you will then have to do all of the improvements stipulated by the energy improvement in the Green Deal and then apply for an exemption under 2541A clause.

So it’s a separate route, a lot more expensive because you are doing a double set of improvements. Please bear that in mind. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning, if you do have an exemption and the property is an F and a G, you might still be caught out as a landlord under housing health safety rating system (HHSRS) on cold or damp grounds.

And under those circumstances and not just those …, but they’re the primarily ones that you’ll come up against. You may well be asked by the council, the environment officer to actually improve the property, come what may. That covers part two. Part three will deal with the five exemptions and the Green Deal itself. Thank you.