Minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) will be enforced from 1 April 2018, becoming as legally fundamental as fire safety and building regulations. Therefore, residential landlords whose properties fail to meet these new standards could face severe financial penalties.
The non-domestic MEES regulations for England and Wales requires all relevant properties to have improved to a minimum energy efficiency standard before being let to tenants, except where certain exemptions apply.
Additional regulations coming into play by 1 April 2016 will empower tenants to request consent for energy efficiency measures. As long as the measures are within reason, landlords will not have the power to refuse.
It is likely that these regulations will have quite an impact on the private rented sector, with consequences for not meeting standards resulting in serious financial penalties.
The Government has indicated that it intends to have the regulations in place ahead of the general election in May. MEES is likely to be implemented incrementally, finally coming into full effect on all new lettings from April 2018, and for existing lettings from April 2023.