Landlord group pushes for publication of new MEES rules

Landlord group pushes for publication of new MEES rules

8:01 AM, 15th November 2022, About 7 months ago 3

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The landlord association iHowz has written to three Government ministers urging them to publish the new domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) rules so landlords can prepare to meet them in good time.

The organisation says it is worried that the new version of the EPC and accompanying Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) will be published before the MEES criteria.

This could mean, iHowz says, that the work carried out by a landlord under current EPC regulations would become obsolete.

The letter has been sent to Grant Shapps at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Michael Gove at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and also Alok Sharma at the Cabinet Office.

It has been sent by Peter Littlewood, who is the chief executive of iHowz, and is published below:

Dear Ministers

Since August 2021, iHowz have been urging BEIS to publish the new requirements for MEES as soon as possible, to allow landlords to plan any works that are required.

We are especially concerned that the new version of the EPC and accompanying SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) is published before the new MEES, in order to avoid new energy efficiency works carried out under the existing version of the EPC becoming obsolete.

The recent changes in energy costs, and sources, as well as the Government’s COP commitment are expected to result in a significant change in EPC SAP methodology as well as requirements. Any work carried out now might be nullified if superseded by a new EPC, as an example, a new EPC might favour electrical heating over gas, because of the carbon savings, thus any gas boilers fitted to meet existing MEES might become inappropriate.

When setting the new MEES, consideration needs to be given to constraints, such as assessor training, implementation costs, planning restrictions (conservation and listed building) and access to carry out works, to ensure that achievable targets are set for a sector which has a high proportion of older buildings and rental supply is already falling.

Landlords are rather in the dark at the moment, with no standards, timetable or supporting funding confirmed, and we urge action now.

As ever, we are happy to meet to discuss further.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Littlewood,

for iHowz Landlords Association.

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Seething Landlord

13:04 PM, 15th November 2022, About 7 months ago

Your letter illustrates perfectly the need for joined up thinking and a coordinated approach from the various government departments involved. Constantly urging precipitate action is therefore counterproductive, certainly not in the interests of landlords and quite likely to result in yet another fudged and ill-considered set of regulations.

Jessie Jones

16:53 PM, 19th November 2022, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 15/11/2022 - 13:04
I suspect that the real impact of the failure to publish the new standards is not that current improvements might become nullified, but rather that many landlords are holding back from any property improvements until we know what the new standards are. Just by way of example, a tenant of mine has a kitchen which sorely needs replacing, but I cannot do this until I know whether to insulate the walls internally, externally, not at all, to what thickness, what radiators I need, what heating system, do I need to rip the floor up? Do I have to put a heat pump in?
Well, actually I am selling this one to reduce my Secn 24 tax, but you get the point.

Seething Landlord

21:37 PM, 19th November 2022, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 19/11/2022 - 16:53
Another reason for holding back is that it is possible that any money spent on improvements before the regulations are published will not count towards whatever the maximum required expenditure will be.

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