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.
- 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