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Energy Law updates , Landlords Take note

Posted: 06th April 2016

New laws regarding the energy rating of privately let properties are now law as of 01/04/2016

The Energy Efficiency Regulations 2015 will bring into force minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for the residential private rented sector. This means that from 1 April, landlords with properties to let which have an Energy Performance Rating (EPC) of less than ‘E’ will have to carry out works to improve the EPC to a rating of E or above, or face penalties of up to £4,000.

The regulations will also make it unlawful for landlords to unreasonably refuse consent to a tenant’s request to make prescribed energy efficiency improvements to a property. However, the tenant is responsible for paying for the works and the intention is that no upfront costs should fall on the landlord, unless they agree to contribute.

Tenants will have the right to request energy efficiency improvements whether or not the property has an EPC rating, though the minimum standard E rating for letting applies only to properties with an EPC (and will not apply to Listed property). But there are some instances in which a landlord can refuse permission for improvements to be made, including:

  • Another tenant made a request within the preceding six months and the landlord complied.
  • The improvement is the same, or substantially the same, as one which the landlord proposed within the preceding six months but which the tenant refused or failed to respond to.

In addition, a landlord can make a counter-proposal by putting forward alternative energy efficiency measures. If this happens, the tenant must consent to those works before they can be carried out.

Further measures will come into effect under The Energy Efficiency Regulations 2015 in 2018, when it will become unlawful to grant new tenancies with an EPC rating of less than E; and in 2020 when this will apply to all residential tenancies (both new and existing).

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