Around two-thirds of buy-to-let landlords lack awareness of new Minimum Energy Efficient Standards (MEES) that come into effect in April 2018, fresh research shows.
The 2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations set out minimum energy efficiency standards for England and Wales. These regulations make it unlawful for landlords to grant a new lease for properties that have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E, from 1 April 2018, unless the property is registered as an exemption
But somewhat worryingly, the research found that 25% of landlords do not know about the requirements of the new MEES regulations which will prevent them renewing existing tenancies or agreeing new lets if it does not meet minimum standards. A further 42% admit to being ‘only vaguely aware’ of the new rules.
Some 27% say that they do not even know the EPC rating of their property to begin with. Almost half – 49% – of landlords do not know the penalty for breaching the regulations, with 31% of those surveyed underestimating the penalty.
With a potential penalty of 20% of the rateable value for properties breaching the regulations after three months, this lack of awareness could cost them dear.
Mike Feely, energy efficiency expert at E.ON, commented: “Government housing data already shows that the private rented sector has the highest proportion of properties falling in the F and G bands, so it’s vital landlords look into what they need to do before the regulations come into effect.
“Whether landlords have in the past been put off by the perceived hassle, expense, or their own lack of knowledge around the subject, the clock is definitely ticking on the need to improve properties. We know this can be a huge challenge for landlords so we’ve developed a range of services to give them the support they need, from online account management that allows landlords to better control their property portfolios through to a range of great value insulation and heating services to make rented properties more energy efficient.
“For landlords worried about the potential cost of upgrading properties, financial support may also be available through the Energy Company Obligation if tenants meet certain qualifying criteria, with funding potentially available from major energy companies such as E.ON for insulation and new heating measures.”