EiD is always interested in finding articles on sustainable energy from smaller newspapers. How they convey messages to their readership is very important. Mike Bridgen writes on the Darlington and Stockton Times website about the upcoming obligation for landlords to ensure their properties meet a minimum energy performance requirement by April 2018.
Changes on way for landlords to meet energy efficiency standards
The farming and rural sector has been warned to prepare for changes in the law that will require landlords to ensure their properties meet minimum energy efficiency standards.
Farmers with tenanted properties in particular have been urged to plan ahead for new rules that come into force in April 2018 and will require properties to meet an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or higher.
Julie Liddle, a director of Robson & Liddle, the Penrith-based rural chartered surveyors, said: “These changes mean every landlord in England and Wales must ensure their buildings meet the standards or risk fines. Put simply, the rules mean there can be no letting of properties where energy efficiency standards fall below the prescribed standard.
“For many landlords it could require significant investment in things like new renewable heating systems and double glazing to bring their properties up to the required standard.
“The main thing to remember is that taking action now means you can plan for improvements to be carried out in plenty of time which could prevent significant costs arising further down the line.”
From April 1, 2018, Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations will cover new or renewed lettings of domestic and commercial properties. From 2020, MEES will apply to all domestic properties; from 2023, they will cover all commercial leases.
Owners of non-compliant properties will risk fines of up to £150,000 per non-domestic property and £5,000 per domestic property.
Such is the backlash by landlords over the changes, there’s speculation as to whether MEES will make it into law in line with the proposed timetable. However, Julie believes landlords are going to need to act on energy efficiency at some stage.
She added: “In the absence of any information to the contrary, now is the time to start preparing for this potentially expensive and time-consuming change. Property owners should take professional advice to investigate what is needed to meet the required standards.
“Landlords may be tempted to do the bare minimum, but it’s clear that in the quest by government to drive ever-greater energy efficiency standards, MEES will continue to become more stringent over time. It may be worth investing now to reach a level E or higher to avoid having to go through the process again in a few years’ time.”