By Peter Williams

Residential landlords will be required to spend up to £3,500 of their own money improving the energy efficiency of their properties. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) for properties that are to be let came into force on 1 April 2018. The regulations apply to both commercial and residential properties but this article considers only the rules relating to residential properties.

Under the current legislation, landlords of so-called sub-standard residential properties (those with an EPC rating of F or G) are required to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties only if this can be done at no cost to the landlord. The regulations envisage that this will be achieved by way of one or more of a Green Deal finance plan, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) or a local authority grant. However, the Green Deal – an innovative funding solution under which a landlord borrows money to undertake specified energy efficiency improvement works – was effectively withdrawn in 2015 when the Treasury refused to continue to fund it. There are currently some Green Deal providers but not sufficient to carry out all the works that are expected to be required.