Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard ‘MEES’- Important Commercial Landlord Key Dates
On the 20 September 2023, the Prime Minister delivered a speech announcing important changes to the Government’s environmental targets including delaying the elimination of gas boilers and pushing back the ban on purchasing new petrol cars from 2030 to 2035.
Rishi Sunak announced that the Government’s plans for legislation requiring landlords to upgrade their buy to let properties to EPC band C by April 2025 for new tenancies have also been scrapped - but the Government is still encouraging landlords to consider energy efficiency measures. All rental properties will continue to need to have an EPC of at least an ‘E’ rating (unless they are exempt).
Since Sunak’s announcement, there is much talk about whether the proposed MEES requirements for commercial lettings would also be delayed but no further guidance has been published yet.
The Existing Law
- Since 01 April 2023, it is unlawful for commercial landlords to let a commercial property which has an EPC rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’ unless an exemption is registered. If an exemption is not applicable then the Landlord would need to carry out improvements to the property in order to bring this up to at least an ‘E’ rating before it can be lawfully let.
- Exemptions to the prohibition of letting ‘F’ or ‘G’ rated properties generally lasts for 5 years. The exemption must be valid and registered. After this time, the exemption will expire and the Landlord must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating. A full list of exemptions are available on the Government website.
Current Target Dates
- 01 April 2027 anticipated target date for increasing the minimum energy efficiency rating to a ‘C’
- 01 April 2030 anticipated target date for increasing the minimum energy efficiency rating to a ‘B’.
There is no clear guidance on whether these target dates will be revised or delayed and the Government’s announcement brings a level of uncertainty to landlords. We would advise all commercial landlords to review their current portfolio and consider if any of their properties require work to bring them into line with the current proposed minimum ratings and to keep an eye on our socials for any further updates.
These notes have been prepared for the purpose of articles only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.