From April 2016, The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 will bring into force minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) in the residential and commercial private rented sector.

Essentially Landlords with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Rating below an E will be required to undertake work to improve the energy performance of the property; those who do not could face heavy penalties.

Key dates below underline when the regulations will be enforced, with the regulation scope expanding over a 5 year period.

1 April 2018

It will be unlawful to grant new leases of residential or commercial property with an EPC rating below an ‘E’.

1 April 2020

The regulation will expand to apply to ALL residential privately rented property which are required to have an EPC.

1 April 2023

This will be extended to include ALL existing commercial leases.

Figures released by DCLG underline the scale of those who will be affected by MEES with 20%-25% of residential and commercial properties in England and Wales hitting or falling below the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.

The government has also declared their wish to raise the standard further such that the minimum standard is likely to rise to a D rating by 2025 and a C rating by 2030.

Landlords and their agents should act now by commissioning an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate which will identify the current rating (which may have changed over time), and recommend opportunities for improvement.