Latest News

Lords vote on Tenant Fees Bill amendments

12 December 2018

Following the Government’s announcement of its amendments to the Tenant Fees Bill on 4 December, last night peers voted to make the changes to the Bill during Report Stage. Read More...

Double-edged sword as cost of student lets rises

10 December 2018

Universities across the UK have seen student numbers escalate over recent years and they had to turn to the private sector to help ensure supply of accommodation. According to a report released last week by Unipol and National Union of Students (NUS), this has been a double-edged sword, bringing both benefits to students, and cost implications. Read More...

Replace or repair? A deposit adjudication case study

10 December 2018

Tenancy Deposit Scheme’s (TDS) Assistant Director of Dispute Resolution, Sandy Bastin, looks at a recent case where both sides of the dispute disagreed on whether the deduction should be for replacement or repairs. Read More...

One month to go until MEES

Thursday 01 March 2018

There is only one month left to go before new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) come into force across England and Wales. Find out how we can help you and your landlords prepare, and read what David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark had to say.

Yes, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will be law on 1 April 2018. Landlords of privately rented domestic and non-domestic properties in England and Wales wont be able to rent out properties that do not have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least an E.

We’ve all known about this for three years, but it’s estimated that over 400,000 properties currently fail to meet the energy performance standards. According to research conducted by energy company EON, one in four landlords don’t even know their property’s energy rating.

If you do though, a word of warning - please check when the assessment was last done, as the standard required to achieve an E rating or better has changed since the EPC’s introduction in 2007; an E rating ten years ago, could be downgraded to an F or G now.

Ignorance is no defence in law, so landlords and letting agents need to know where they stand to be able to protect their properties, tenants and revenue.

ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive David Cox said: “Landlords now only have one month to ensure their properties comply with the Government’s minimum energy efficiency standards. From 1st April, all rented properties on new lets (including renewals) must be minimum EPC rated E.

“Landlords have been responding to tenants’ demands for better quality and better insulated homes over the last few years; the number of properties which are EPC rated F or G has fallen from around 700,000 in 2012, to 300,000 today. However, there are still a lot which don’t meet the standards.

“After the deadline passes at the end of this month, landlords face fines of up to £4,000 for flouting the law, or losing money on empty properties which can’t be let until they meet the standards. This will also have implications on the wider rental market, which is in the midst of a serious supply crisis. There are Green Deal finance plans available and you can contact companies such as Propertymark’s industry supplier ECO-Energi to find out how to upgrade your property for a low cost. For any landlords who haven’t yet started to upgrade their properties, now is the time to act – and quickly. 

John Davidson of Propertymark Industry Supplier Eco-Energi said: "I spent 20 years working in the private rented sector as the Chief Executive of Gas-elec, the largest building services franchise in the UK, and now run Eco-energi which specialises in energy efficiency measures, so I understand what needs to be done to achieve compliance and how to do it."

To assist and advise landlords and letting agents Eco-energi has developed the Compliance Advisory Report (CAR). CAR examines the current EPC, considers any remedial works that have been done since the last assessment, and provides advice on what needs to be done to improve the EPC rating to E as a minimum.

It’s a desk top service which means the initial outlay can be as little as £40, but it provides the vital information on whether you can relax or should act. Once the CAR report has been received, and action is necessary, we can have the remedial works assessed, costed and, once agreed, works could be underway within a couple of weeks.