What standards can you expect as a tenant?
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for privately rented properties
The Domestic MEES Regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private rented properties.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are rated on a scale of A-G. Since 1 April 2020, landlords can no longer let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES Regulations if they have an EPC rating below E.
The government has committed to improve the energy performance standards of privately rented homes in England and Wales, with the aim for as many of them as possible to be upgraded to EPC Band C by 2030, where practical, cost-effective and affordable.
A property with an EPC rating of F or G must be improved to E immediately or be registered for an exemption, which lasts for five years. To register an exemption on GOV.UK, landlords must provide evidence that energy efficiency improvements will:
- need third-party consent
- cost more than £3,500, or that £3,500 or more has already been spent
- devalue the property
Other reasons may also be accepted: please read the full guidance on exemptions and the evidence requirements on GOV.UK.
How to check an energy efficiency rating
An EPC will give an energy efficiency rating and an environmental impact rating. It will also estimate the energy use, carbon dioxide emissions, lighting, heating and hot water per year, along with the potential annual costs for each.
If a property has been marketed for sale or to let, or it has been modified in the past 10 years, it should have an EPC.
It is a legal requirement to have an EPC for a privately rented property. An EPC can be obtained from a qualified assessor. A landlord can book a property assessment on GOV.UK.
How to improve an energy rating
There are a number of energy efficiency schemes available that can assist with the cost of making improvements, funding may be available to landlords via the Home Upgrade Grant 2, ECO4 and the Great British Insulation Scheme. Availability of schemes are subject to the property and occupants meeting eligibility criteria.
How much will improvement work cost?
The maximum cost that a landlord is obliged to spend to try and improve an EPC rating from F or G to E is £3,500 including VAT. Find out more about typical improvement costs on GOV.UK.
All landlords are strongly advised to take action and speak to their tenants and other interested parties to improve energy ratings to comply with the minimum requirements.
If a local authority believes a landlord has failed to fulfil their obligations under the MEES Regulations, they can serve the landlord with a compliance notice. If a breach is confirmed, the landlord may receive a financial penalty of up to £5,000 per property.
How we can help if your landlord fails to take action
A landlord must comply with their legal obligations to improve the property to a minimum standard - an EPC rating of E. If your landlord fails to take action, please report these problems to the private sector housing team online or via our contact centre on 01744 676789.