What are the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Regulations?
Since 1 April 2016 the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Regulations (“the Regulations”) have been assisting tenants in improving the energy efficiency of their properties, even where restrictions in their lease may have in the past prevented such improvements.
On 1 April 2018, further provisions of the Regulations came into force, prohibiting landlords from granting new leases of residential or commercial property where the property is considered sub-standard.
From 1 April 2020 for residential properties, and 1 April 2023 for commercial properties, this prohibition will extend to existing leases and landlords will be in breach of the Regulations if they continue to let out a sub-standard property.
Although the prohibition is predominately of concern to landlords, what impact could the prohibition have on tenants?
We ask our newest solicitor, property expert Laura Mather to comment on this. Laura says:
“If a landlord lets out property in breach of the Regulations, although the landlord may be faced with enforcement action, the lease will still be valid. This is reassuring for tenants who may worry that their lease is not valid due to their property being found to be sub-standard.
Further, if a lease contains a clause requiring the tenant to comply with any statutory provisions that affect the property, our research suggests that this clause would not apply to the Regulations as they are designed to prevent a landlord from letting out sub-standard property, rather than place an obligation upon parties to carry out works to improve the energy efficiency standard. This is also good news for tenants.
One thing that tenants do need to consider though is whether they might want to sublet a property in the future. If they do, the Regulations will become relevant for them as landlord themselves, under that sub-lease. Purchasers of a leasehold interest should therefore consider the energy performance rating of the property carefully prior to completing their purchase and existing tenants will also need to check the provisions if they are intending to grant sub-leases of the property.”