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Lettings Unpacked – Countdown to MEES Compliance

July 14, 2023

Lettings Unpacked: Countdown to Compliance – MEES

Our Head of Lettings, Mark Blakeway discusses the new Minimum Energy Efficient Standards (MEES) which are set to come into force in April 2025 and what they mean for rental properties. He also outlines how landlords can get ahead of the game to ensure they are not caught out by the new legislation.

From 1st April 2025, all newly rented properties must have an EPC (energy performance certificate) rating of Band C or above, under the new Minimum Energy Efficient Standards (MEES). Fortunately for existing tenancies these changes won’t apply until 2028. The changes to the EPC centre around the Government’s net zero emission target and are focusing on creating more energy efficient homes. Previous research suggested 60% of UK properties predicted to have an EPC or lower, so it’s expected many properties will need upgrading to comply with MEES.

Although these changes aren’t coming into force until 2025, it’s worth being ahead of the game. This is not only beneficial in terms of assessing what may need to be changed within a property, but also securing a contractor to undertake the work. If we look back to the changes to EICR back in 2020, labour costs increased massively in the lead up to enforcement as landlords rushed to ensure their properties complied. Ultimately, undertaking work sooner rather than later is more cost-effective.

As with previous property reforms, the cost of upgrades is an initial outlay, but rental properties should be look at as a long-term investment. Modifications to achieve a Band C or above rating may include upgrading to LED lighting, proper insulation for roof and walls, and double or even triple glazing. There are certainly long-term financial benefits to MEES too. Energy efficient properties are more beneficial in the way they require less energy to heat and power them, incurring lower energy bills which is more attractive to potential tenants.

It is important to note that if the upgrades aren’t undertaken in time and the property does not receive a rating of Band C or above, it cannot legally be rented out. And, in the worst scenario, landlords could face severe penalties if they continue to rent out the property via a new tenancy. 

Ultimately, landlords have an obligation to comply, but with just under two years until the changes come into effect, there is still plenty of time to make the provisions and ensure properties are upgraded to conform to MEES.

Key points

  • 1st April 2025 for new tenancies, or 2028 for existing tenancies
  • 60% of UK properties have an EPC rating of D or lower 
  • Landlords could face loss of rental income or fines

Find out more:

If you have any further questions around lettings, please contact Mark Blakeway for more information on

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Jo Deal

Jo Deal

July 14, 2023

Jo Deal

Jo Deal is a dog behaviourist and trainer based in Chilworth. Following a career as a Royal Marine and stints in private security in Iraq, Africa and London, Jo returned to his home county of Surrey to launch Jo Deal Canine Behaviourist, a service which provides tailored support to dog owners on how to manage problem canine behaviour. From puppy socialisation through to tackling excessive barking and disobedience, we had a chat with Jo to find out how he’s supporting dog owners in Surrey and beyond with some of the common challenges of dog ownership…

Why did you launch your behaviour training?

I initially adopted my Rottweiler’s George and Dottie over 20 years, and noticed after adopting my most recent Rottweiler, Beau - dog training had changed significantly in the past two decades. With a previous focus on dominance and aggression, it’s now all about understanding how a dog is feeling and identifying why they are behaving in a certain way by reinforcing positive behaviours to counteract unwanted behaviours.

Fast forward a couple of years and having undergone rigorous training with the Institute of Modern Dog Training and an accreditation from the British College of Canine Studies, I officially launched in January.

Dog ownership has increased by 3.2 million since the pandemic, do you think this had any bearing on puppy behaviour?

Yes, for sure. Due to lockdowns, dogs missed out on prime socialisation opportunities whether that was through a trainer or frequently socialising with other dogs. Puppies who have never experienced being alone are now facing owners returning to the office, and this has naturally led to an increase in behavioural issues.

In addition, owners didn’t have the usual puppy network to learn their part in the relationship, whether that was meeting fellow dog walkers or attending puppy classes.

What type of training can you offer?

I work with dog owners across Surrey and beyond and can even host sessions via Zoom. I specialise in positive reinforcement methods providing owners with practical skills and guidance to tackle problematic canine behaviour. Whether that’s a training course over a period of time where I’ll work with a dog one-on-one offering tailored support or puppy socialisation classes.

I also host a monthly workshop in West Horsley which aims to provide owners with the skills and confidence to tackle certain behavioural issues. As well as tips and techniques on establishing boundaries and identifying triggers of bad behaviour.

Are there any common misconceptions around puppy training?

There is a misunderstanding that puppies can’t socialise until 12 weeks due to infection risk, however the prime socialisation period for exposure to other people, horses, cars etc. is actually between eight and 12 weeks. My courses run during this initial period and are in a fully sanitised environment, enabling dog owners to rest assured their puppies are training in a safe environment.

Are there any success stories which you’re particularly proud of?

I started working with a black Labrador who was scared of people, particularly men and would bark and lunge forward when out for walks as well as not like having people come into their home. After one-to-one training, which involved ignoring the negative behaviours and replacing it with positive reinforcement, the lab is now calmer and no longer pulling on the lead and barking at others.

Do you have any advice for owners struggling with canine behaviour issues?

I’d advise anyone who is experiencing canine behaviours that they’re worried about or ones that are affecting their relationship with their companion dog to seek support. There is no reason why a dog can’t be the perfect companion as long as their owners are offered the right information and

As part of the training, I focus heavily on positive affirmations and encourage owners to ignore bad behaviour. But while the key focus is the dog, sometimes it’s just as important to work in collaboration with the owner and give them the confidence to be consistent to ensure results.

Finally, is there a local business you particularly admire?

Silent Pool is a great local business. I took one of my dogs-in-training to the coffee shop recently to help expose her to public spaces. What’s more, their story is pretty huge, and the gin is fantastic too.

Find out more:

Visit the website: or email

Follow Jo on Instagram: or on Facebook:

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Haslemere Hall

July 14, 2023

Haslemere Hall

Haslemere Hall is an independently run Arts Venue in Haslemere town centre that hosts musical theatre and live music performances, plus cinema screenings. We chatted with Haslemere Hall’s General Manager, Howard Bicknell, to find out more about what goes on there and a glimpse into its colourful history.

Tell us a bit about Haslemere Hall

Haslemere Hall is a fully equipped theatre seating approximately 340 in the main auditorium with an upper balcony. There are regular cinema showings of current films and live streamed events, plus a popular annual panto. It is also used for lectures, meetings and events. Not to mention a licensed bar!

What are some of the things we can expect to see at Haslemere Hall?

For several years now, Haslemere Hall has been able to stream events via satellite from a wide variety of venues and production companies from the UK and worldwide, including the UK’s very own National Theatre, so that visitors can see the performance live, in real time.

This allows them to literally have the best seat in the house. It also means, of course that the audience can see a big show from their local area at a fraction of the West End prices. We also have a packed schedule of music from live bands to tribute acts, plus orchestral and choral concerts.

And it’s become a popular destination for watching the latest cinema releases?

Yes. When the Rex cinema in Haslemere closed its doors, the Trustees decided to introduce film shows in conjunction with Southern Cinema Services. All the latest releases are shown on several days each month and the Hall has also branched out to include specialist screenings and started to show more independent films and documentaries as well as foreign films that are subtitled. We’re committed to showing films that don’t necessarily have big backers and budgets but have a great story with an important message.

It’s quite a multipurpose space, isn’t it?

Yes, the Hall also provides the home for many local societies, clubs, charities and theatre schools. It offers them a place to meet, rehearse, listen to guest speakers, dance and host parties and award ceremonies.


Can you tell us a little about its history?

The Hall was founded in 1912 by local benefactor Barclay Lewis Day. He decided to build a Hall with his own money and invited well-known architects to submit their plans in a competition for the best design. The winning design was by Annesley Brownrigg F.R.I.B.A. The early 1900s saw the tail end of the Arts and Crafts Movement in England, and the design reflects this influence, such as a particularly fine curved stone staircase leading to the upper Rotunda sitting out area and balcony.

The Hall was officially opened in January 1914. The opening coincided with the outbreak of World War I and for the first four years of its life, the Hall was requisitioned by the War Office and used as drill hall for the troops.

How did your involvement with the Hall come about?

I was born and brought up in Haslemere and when I moved back in 2010 I found myself drawn back to Haslemere Hall, which for me had been a bit of a home from home in my teenage and early twenties. I had enjoyed both rehearsals and performing on the stage with the Haslemere Players, and with the Haslemere Thespians in musicals, plays and pantomimes.

Coming on board as Manager has been both amazing and challenging. We have a great team here and work with some brilliant volunteers too. Since updating and upgrading the facilities and also rebranding, I feel like we are now rising like a Phoenix after Covid - working and developing our knowledge of our customers and what they would like to see. It’s a fantastic place to work and every day is different.


What are the main challenges with running this kind of venue?

A building that is over 100 years old constantly requires attention in the form of repairs and renewals. Improvements and modernisation work are undertaken as funds permit. The ‘Friends of Haslemere Hall’ was set up as a way for local people to contribute to its upkeep and hopefully a flourishing future.

Give us a flavour of what is coming up at Haslemere Hall this year?

There will be live screenings from the National Theatre, opera from the Royal Opera House, Shakespeare, ballet, drama, thrillers and all-time family favourites. Plus, we’ll be welcoming live bands alongside choral concerts and showing a mix of all the latest cinema releases. There really is something for everyone.


Finally, can you share with us some of your favourite businesses in Haslemere

I’m a big fan of Charter Walk Kitchen Living – such a great team of people who provide an excellent service and product. They take the time to learn who you are and they’re specialists in all they do. You can count on Oliver’s Coffee Shop & Wine Bar for friendly, quick service and first-rate food. They’re also a caring, inspiring business, involved with the community. Finally, Couchman Hanson Solicitors – approachable, knowledgeable and always willing to give helpful advice.

Find out more:

Haslemere Hall, Bridge Road, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2AS

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