If you’re a landlord, then there’s now less than three weeks to ensure that your rental properties meet Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).

Hopefully this won’t come as a great surprise as the changes have been known about for almost three years.  However, the reality is that for some this will have been one of those ‘must look in to that’ jobs that you never quite got around to.

The reality is, however, that from April 1 this year any rental property will need to achieve a minimum “E” rating for all new leases and renewals.  It will be illegal to rent a property that does not meet this minimum requirement due to what will be deemed its ‘substandard’ conditions and within two years, (April 2020), the same will apply for all existing tenancies too.

The penalty for failing to adhere to this isn’t to be ignored either as Trading Standards will soon be able to impose fines of up to £4,000 for non-compliance.  Now, therefore, is the time to urgently access the energy efficiency of your properties and ensure you put the necessary improvements in place to ensure your portfolio makes the grade.

First things, first:  you’ll need to ensure that your properties have valid and up to date EPCs in place.  Going through the necessary expert assessment will allow a new EPC to reflect any recent improvements which you’ve made, as well as highlight any improvements that can be made.

It’s worth remembering too that these improvements don’t need to be terribly onerous or difficult to carry out.  One of the major causes of heat loss in a residential building is through doors and windows with insufficient seals so replacing these can help to eliminate any drafts, whilst adding additional insulation to loft areas can help reduce heat loss through roofs.  Don’t forget too that low energy LED bulbs can often be installed in to existing sockets!

Cavity wall insulation and replacement windows are other options, although both are arguably more disruptive unless you’ve planned to carry out a wider scheme of improvements.  If this is the case, then you may also consider an upgrade to a more energy efficient boiler or the installation of a smart meter.

Something to remember, however, is that even if you’re not a landlord but are planning to sell your property to an investor who will rent it out then the EPC rating will still need to make the minimum “E” grade.  Where the responsibility in this situation lies is naturally a grey area, but ensuring a property is as energy efficient as it possibly can be is no bad thing and will help to improve its overall saleability.  

If you have queries relating to how you can make your property as energy efficient as possible, then the team at your local Andrews branch will be happy to help and advise you.  www.andrewsonline.co.uk