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Support for landlords


What are Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations, and how do landlords ensure that they comply?

CSE is working with the TDS Charitable Foundation to advise and support landlords of privately rented properties to understand and meet their obligations under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations.

These stipulate that privately rented properties must have a minimum EPC rating of band E before they are let. (The government website has a useful primer on EPCs.)

Although the government has delayed enforcing the updated MEES regulations, they’ll be implemented eventually. It’s in your best interest to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible as soon as you can. Get ahead by following our guidance below and using our support service. You can also make the most of available funding to save money on your home improvements.

View down a terraced street showing a number of 'To Let' signs

The aim of MEES is to reduce the number of private tenants living in fuel poverty and miserable, unhealthy homes by improving the energy efficiency of privately rented properties. If a property is well insulated, for instance, the cold will have less impact on the health of the residents. Cold homes can lead to serious health problems and can even result in death.

In short, MEES require a property to have a minimum energy performance rating of band E. An EPC will give an energy performance rating for a property, which will be somewhere from band A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). Unless exempt from MEES, a property cannot be rented out if it has an energy performance rating below band E (that is, band F or G).

What support does CSE offer to landlords?

This advice is for private landlords renting out a domestic property on one of the following tenancy types:

As most tenancies in England and Wales are “assured shorthold” tenancies, this guidance is likely relevant to you. However, to help you assess the type of tenancy on which you have rented out your property, check the information on the government website. If you’re still unsure, seek independent legal advice.

With CSE’s help, you can:

Let us help you

Find out more about how you can improve your property, or if you are eligible for funding. Get in touch. Or fill in our online form at the foot of this page.

Important information for landlords

Here is a list of frequently asked questions and what you should know about your property and MEES. Click the links to be taken to each section:

Do MEES apply to my property?
Does my property need an EPC?
What improvements does my property need?
Is there a cost cap?
What funding is available?
Are there any exemptions?
How to register an exemption
Penalties for non-compliance
Helpful resources and reading


Do MEES apply to my property?

Regardless of the current energy performance of the property you are renting out, the first thing to consider is that your tenants would benefit from its improvement. For instance, as mentioned above, low energy efficiency can result in life-altering health conditions. A higher energy efficiency can result in less miserable living conditions and less fuel poverty.

Specifically regarding MEES, unless an exemption applies, if the property you’re renting out on one of the tenancy types mentioned at the start of this guidance has, or requires, an EPC it must meet the standards.


Does my property need an EPC?

Generally speaking, buildings require an EPC if they are being sold or rented out. The exceptions are:

EPCs are valid for 10 years. A new EPC is required after 10 years if the building is rented out on a new tenancy or sold. You can search for your property’s current EPC on the government’s EPC register. The government also have information on getting a new EPC.

If you’re unsure if your property requires an EPC, seek specialist advice.


What improvements does my property need?

You cannot make just any improvements to a property to meet MEES. You must carry out relevant energy efficiency improvements.

The easiest way of knowing what improvements are relevant is through an energy efficiency recommendations report (including the recommendations report accompanying a valid EPC) or a report prepared by a surveyor. The image below is an example of the recommendations for an EPC:

Guidance from the Energy Saving Trust on EPCs says “[t]he recommended measures are shown in order of importance, and the energy efficiency improvements figures are based on making the improvements in that order. Of course, you might not be able to complete them all, or in the order listed, but it’s a good guide”. Appendix D of government’s The Domestic Private Rented Property Minimum Standard document (pp. 96-98) lists energy efficiency measures which might be recommended on an EPC for a property.


Is there a cost cap?

Improving the energy efficiency of your property as much as possible is beneficial for both the people for whom it is their home and the environment. MEES are met when the energy efficiency of your property is band E or you have attempted to raised it to an E for no more than £3,500 (including VAT) of your own money. You can exceed this amount – and are likely to if funding is involved (the cost cap does not apply to money that comes from third-party funding, such as that from, for instance, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO)).

If no funding is available and, without it, it will cost more than £3,500 of your own money to raise the energy efficiency of the property to an E; or if no funding is available, you’ve spent £3,500 of your own money and the property is still below band E, you can apply for an exemption from having to meet MEES and can continue to rent out a substandard property.


What funding is available?

The best way to find out about funding for home energy improvements is to ask a local energy advice organisation, if there is one.

To find a local organisation, try searching ‘home energy’ on a council’s website where the rental property’s located. Alternatively, you could try searching on the internet for ‘energy advice’ and the geographic area the property is in. If there is no local organisation, you could try a national one. The government has a service you could try, or you could contact one of the following:

Some national funding schemes you could investigate are:

Some common local schemes you could investigate are:


Are there any exemptions?

CSE can advise you on MEES exemptions. These apply to properties that need to comply with the MEES regulations but cannot reasonably achieve an EPC rating of band E or above. (You can read government information about MEES exemptions by clicking here).

If a substandard property meets the criteria for an exemption, it can still be rented out once the exemption has been registered on the exemption register. Different evidence, detailed below, is required to register different exemptions, but the following information is required for all exemptions:

In brief, the exemptions are as follows:

‘High cost’ exemption

Apply for this if no improvements can be made because the cost of making even the cheapest recommended improvement would exceed £3,500 (inc. VAT). The exemption lasts five years, after which you must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to E. If it is still not possible, you can apply for a further exemption. Additional information required to register this exemption:

‘All improvements made’ exemption

Apply for this when all the “relevant energy efficiency improvements” for the property have been made but the property’s EPC rating remains below an E, or there are none that can be made. The exemption lasts five years, after which you must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to E. If it is still not possible, you can apply for a further exemption. Additional information required to register this exemption:

‘Wall insulation’ exemption

Apply for this if the only relevant improvements for the property are cavity, external or internal wall insulation and expert advice has concluded that the measure is not appropriate for the property due to its potential negative impact on the fabric or structure of the property. The exemption lasts five years, after which you must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to E. If it is still not possible, you can apply for a further exemption. Additional information required to register this exemption:

‘Consent exemption’

Apply for this if third-party consent is legally required to carry out the improvements and, despite reasonable efforts, it has not been possible to obtain it, or consent was given subject to conditions that could not reasonably be met. The third-party could be, for instance, a tenant, a superior landlord, a mortgagee a freeholder, etc., or planning or listed building consent. Information on when and where consent is required will be contained within relevant documentation for the property, for example in the landlord’s lease or mortgage condition documents, or within the current tenancy agreement. The exemption lasts five years, or, where lack of tenant agreement was the issue, until the current tenancy agreement ends or is assigned to a new tenant – after which you must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to E. If it is still not possible, you can apply for a further exemption. The landlord must be able to demonstrate that reasonable effort has been made the seek consent.

‘Devaluation’ exemption

Apply for this if expert advice has concluded that the installation of specific energy efficiency measures would reduce the market value of the property, or the building it forms part of, by more than five per cent. The exemption lasts five years, after which you must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to E. If it is still not possible, you can apply for a further exemption. Additional information required to register this exemption:

‘New landlord’ exemption

If a person becomes a landlord under certain circumstances, they can apply for this exemption. These limited circumstances are where a person may have become a landlord suddenly and as such it would be inappropriate or unreasonable for them to be required to comply with MEES immediately. The circumstances are:

A landlord is advised to seek legal advice if they are unsure if the “new landlord” exemption applies to their circumstance. The exemption lasts six months, after which, if you wish to continue renting out the property, you must try to improve the property’s EPC rating to E. If it is still not possible, you can apply for a further exemption.


How to register an exemption

You can register an exemption on the government website here: prsregister.beis.gov.uk/NdsBeisUi/used-service-before Alternatively, if you need assistance registering an exemption, you can contact the Assisted Digital Service by email (esnz@cust-serv-details.com) or phone (0800 098 7950) (be advised, this isn’t a MEES adviceline; it supports people through the process of registering an exemption).


Penalties for non-compliance

Councils can serve a financial penalty up to 18 months after a breach of MEES. They can also publish details of the breach for at least 12 months.

The maximum financial penalty amounts apply per property and per breach of the regulations. They are:

The maximum amount you can be fined per property is £5,000 in total.


Helpful resources and reading

For more information about MEES, have a look at these resources:


Get in touch

Find out more about how you can improve your property, or if you are eligible for funding. Fill in the form below, and we’ll respond within five working days.