Sunday, November 19, 2017

Landlords demand review of energy efficiency standards

May 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Property

OldHouseRepair

Rural landlords have called on the government to urgently clarify its plans to review minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) set to be introduced next year.

The Country Land and Business Association – whose members provide 40% of all private rented rural housing – says time is running out to make crucial amendments to energy efficiency rules set to come into force in the private rented sector.

Minimum energy efficiency standards mean that from 1 April 2018 it will be illegal for a private landlord to let a property with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating lower than E to a new tenant. The standards will apply to existing tenant from April 2020.

Regulations

But the government is yet to confirm how it will amend the MEES regulations, which are still drafted as if supported by the Green Deal despite it being scrapped in 2015, leaving them unenforceable.

In addition, it is still unclear whether those who own listed buildings or properties in conservation areas must comply. Resolving the situation should be a priority, says CLA deputy president and Cambridgeshire farmer  Tim Breitmeyer.

“The industry has repeatedly called on the government to revise the MEES regulations. Its failure to make any progress in two years since the Green Deal was scrapped is not good enough. With less than a year to go and the further delay of the general election, time looks to be running out.

Mistakes

“In addition to the problems with the regulations, around one third of the homes set to be affected by MEES have been given lower EPC ratings than they deserve, due to mistakes in the way the government assesses the energy efficiency of traditional solid wall buildings.”

Although the government recently consulted on fixing these mistakes, there have since been no assurances these will be rectified before the April 2018 deadline. Mr Breitmeyer says: “This has a negative impact on landlords, tenants and the government’s own policy objectives.”

The CLA supports the principles behind the MEES regulations but Mr Breitmeyer says there were so many errors, delays and uncertainties that it was almost impossible to advise anyone on how to be proactive and ensure compliance.

“Without the framework in place it is unjustifiable to ask landlords to act on the regulations when so much remains unclear,” he adds.

 

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