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Commercial Landlords: Be aware of MEES

Landlords of commercial properties must make sure they are aware of and compliant with the changes to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) and Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) that came into force at the start of this month.

From 1 April 2023, a landlord can no longer let or rent out a non-domestic private rented (PR) property if it does not have an EPC rating of at least E. This is a change to previous requirements and part of the UK government’s push to meet net zero by 2050.

In this blog, Eric Robinson’s team of specialist commercial property solicitors consider the recent changes and advise landlords of commercial properties on what they need to do to avoid falling foul of the new rules.

What are MEES and EPC?

MEES are regulations that outline the overall minimum energy efficiency rating a property must have before it can be let or sold.

An EPC is a rating given to properties to show how energy efficient they are. Landlords are required to get an EPC when a property is sold or rented out to a tenant, although there are some exceptions.

What are the changes?

Previously, landlords of commercial properties in England and Wales were prohibited from granting a new lease to a tenant unless the property had an EPC rating of E or higher. However, existing leases were not covered by the rules.

The new legislation that came into force on 1 April 2023 now takes this further. This now means that all commercial properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E, whether landlords are renting a property to a tenant on a new lease, or the property is let under an existing lease.

Are there any exemptions?

There is a temporary exemption of 6 months for new landlords to give them time to comply.

Certain other exemptions apply, and you can read a list of them on the UK Government website by clicking here.

However, exemptions are not automatic, and landlords must make sure they register them with the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register for them to apply.

What do landlords need to do?

It is a landlord’s responsibility to comply with MEES.

Landlords need to check the EPC rating of their commercial properties and ensure they are above E. Failure to comply with the new regulations means landlords will face financial penalties and risk being included on a public register of non-compliance.  

Commercial Property Legal Advice

If you are a commercial landlord and want some advice on the recent MEES changes and what they mean for you, please get in touch with Eric Robinson today. Our commercial property solicitors have extensive experience dealing with all aspects of commercial property and will be able to help with any issues you may face.

We pride ourselves on offering clear and practical advice and are here to support you with specialist advice and guidance to help you and your business.

Call us on 02380 218000 to speak to one of the team.

This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice; information could have changed since the article was published. If you are seeking legal advice, please get in touch with our team of solicitors to discuss your matter.