There are two main elements under new regulations to improve energy efficiency in rented property as required by the Energy Act 2011 which provide for:

  • A right for a tenant of a domestic private rented property to make energy efficiency improvements This right was made available from 1 April 2016.

  • A requirement that a landlord ensures their rented property achieves minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) before it is let. The MEES requirements are being implemented in two phases, beginning in 2018.

In March 2016, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published guidance (found in the linked page below), on the key steps for landlords and tenants in submitting and considering an energy efficiency consent request, in particular, when a landlord should decide whether:  

  • There are any grounds under which they could reasonably refuse consent to a tenant’s request for energy efficiency improvement
  • They need to obtain additional advice or evidence before making a decision
  • They require third party consent before consenting to the tenant's request.
  • They wish to make a counter proposal.

These provisions fall under Part 2 of the MEES.

Part 3 of the MEES provides that where a property is sub-standard because its energy performance falls below the minimum level of energy efficiency a landlord may not

  • grant a new tenancy or extend or renew an existing tenancy on or after 1 April 2018; or

  • continue to let a property on or after 1 April 2020.

There are a number of exemptions which a landlord may be able to rely on. Regulations issued this week delay the date from which landlords may register an exemption on the exemptions register from 1 October 2016 to 1 October 2017.

The explanatory memorandum to the new regulations explains that DECC is seeking to delay implementation of the exemption register because it is concerned that most landlords of sub-standard properties may be eligible for an exemption from meeting the minimum standard as a result of the pay as you save (PAYS) finance offer under the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme becoming unavailable to them.