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29th March 2023

New Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards launch next week

New Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards launch next week

Starting next week, a new prohibition on continuing existing leases of sub-standard non-domestic private rented property will come into effect in the UK. This means that landlords will not be able to let or continue to let a non-domestic private rented property that is deemed sub-standard.

The prohibition applies to both leases and subleases of the same property. However, the landlord will be different in each case, and it is the responsibility of the landlord to consider whether compliance with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) is necessary or possible.

The MEES Regulations specify legitimate reasons that permit landlords to let sub-standard property, on or after the relevant date. These reasons include:

  • All relevant energy efficiency improvements for the property have been made, but the property remains sub-standard
  • There are no energy efficiency improvements that can be made, but the property remains sub-standard
  • An exemption in Chapter 4 of Part 3 of the MEES Regulations applies.

In each case, landlords must enter the relevant details on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register to avoid enforcement action.

It's important to note that there are some types of property, tenancy, and landlord to which the MEES Regulations do not apply. In such cases, there is no need to register anything on the PRS Exemptions Register.

Landlords should take note of these new regulations and ensure that they comply with them to avoid enforcement action. Those who fail to comply may be subject to fines and enforcement action that can include financial penalties ranging from £5,000 to £150,000, depending on the value of the property and the length of time of the breach. Additionally, the landlord and the details of the breach may be published, further damaging their reputation.

By complying with these regulations, landlords can help improve the energy efficiency of non-domestic private rented property and contribute to the UK's efforts to tackle climate change.