The government has amended the MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) rules to raise the cap on spending whereby landlords can claim exemption.
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have amended regulations requiring landlords to install energy efficiency measures, in order to ensure a minimum E energy efficiency rating.
As the majority of properties are already compliant, most landlords will be unaffected by the changes. However, whilst previously it was proposed that landlords facing energy efficiency upgrade costs of more than £2,500 would be able to register for an exemption from the standards, this cap has now been raised to £3,500.
As outlined in the guidance, the average cost to improve an F or G rated property to a band E is estimated to be around £1,200, considerably below the upper ceiling being brought forward under new regulations.
Examples of measures to be taken by landlords to meet the new MEES regulations include installing floor insulation, low energy lighting or increasing loft insulation.
The new rules will come into force in 2019 and are estimated to affect up to 290,000 rental properties, representing six per cent of the overall domestic private rental market.
The changes mean that next year properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G, the lowest two ratings available, must be raised to at least an E rating by landlords before they can be put on the rental market for new tenancies.
Some landlords will have access to funding schemes to help them get their properties to the new MEES standard. This includes support from the Energy Company Obligation scheme and local grants to bring their properties up to the required standard.
Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said: ‘I strongly welcome these new measures, which will help improve the coldest homes, protecting tenants whilst also saving them money.
‘This builds on our on-going work to crack down on the small minority of rogue landlords and drive up standards in the Private Rented Sector, including through our reviews of health and safety standards and carbon monoxide alarm requirements in the home.’