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MEES Exemption Guide A Breakdown of Each Exemption and
FAQs

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards legislation requires that all rental properties have at least an E rated EPC prior to granting a fresh tenancy. The same applies to existing tenancies for domestic properties, although this will not be applied to existing commercial tenancies until April 2023. MEES Exemptions allow landlords to let properties that do not comply with MEES legislation, under certain circumstances and only when registered on the exemption register.

If an exempt property is sold or transferred in any other way the exemption does not transfer to the new owner. This means that if the new owner has planned to continue to let the property, they will have to either improve the property to the required minimum rating or register an exemption.

Below is a guide of each exemption detailing what it is, which property type it can be applied to, how to register, and information about expiration and re-application.

High Cost

What is the "High Cost" Exemption?

This exemption states that the MEES legislation does not apply if the cost of implementing the cheapest recommendation exceeds £3,500 including VAT.

What Property Type Can this Exemption be Applied to?

Domestic properties only.

How to Register

To register this exemption for their property the landlord must upload supporting documents on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.

Required information:

  • Copies of 3 quotes (from different installers) showing that the cost of buying and implementing the cheapest recommendation costs more than £3,500 including VAT.
  • Confirmation that the landlord believes the cost of the measure exceeds this amount.
  • A valid EPC for the property.
  • The full address of the rental property.
  • Which exemption type the property is being registered for.

Limitations

If there is a recommendation that can be made for less than £3,500 incl. VAT then this exemption cannot be made and the recommendation must be implemented. If, after implementing one or more recommendations totalling a cost under £3,500, the property is still missing the rating required as set out in MEES regulations then the “All Improvements Made” exemption should be registered.

Expiration and Re-Application

This exemption lasts 5 years. Once expired, the landlord must try to improve the EPC rating again to at least the minimum rating required. If this is still not achievable then a further exemption can be registered.

7 Year Payback

What is the "7 Year Payback" Exemption?

This exemption can be applied where the "7 year payback" test, which is set out in regulation 28, fails. "Fails" meaning that the expected savings over 7 years from a recommended improvement or package of improvements is less than the cost of installation.

What Property Type Can this Exemption be Applied to?

Commercial properties only.

How to Register

To register this exemption for their property the landlord must upload supporting documents on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.

Required information:

  • Copies of 3 quotes (from different qualified installers) for the cost of buying and installing the measure(s).
  • A copy of the calculations that have been carried out to prove the improvements fail the 7 year pay back rule.
  • Confirmation that the landlord, or person exercising control of the property, accepts that the recommendation(s) do not meet the 7 year payback rule will also need to be uploaded.
  • A valid EPC for the property.
  • The full address of the rental property.
  • Which exemption type the property is being registered for.

Expiration and Re-Application

The 7 year payback exemption lasts 5 years. Once expired, the landlord must try to improve the EPC rating again to at least the minimum rating required. If this is still not achievable then a further exemption can be registered

All Improvements Made

What is the "All Improvements Made" Exemption?

This exemption can be applied where all "relevant" energy efficiency improvements have been made (or where there are none/no more that can be made) and the property remains below an E EPC rating. This includes if the landlord has implemented all improvements up to a total of £3,500 including VAT.

What Property Type Can this Exemption be Applied to?

Both domestic and commercial properties.

How to Register

To register this exemption for their property the landlord must upload supporting documents on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.

Required information:

  • A valid EPC for the property.
  • Any other report that displays that there are no/no more improvements that can be made.
  • If applicable, evidence of implementing any recommendations that were suitable but didn’t raise the energy efficiency enough.
  • The full address of the rental property.
  • Which exemption type the property is being registered for.

Expiration and Re-Application

The All Improvements Made exemption lasts 5 years. Once expired, the landlord must try to improve the EPC rating again to at least the minimum rating required. If this is still not achievable then a further exemption can be registered.

Wall Insulation

What is the "Wall Insulation" Exemption?

This exemption is for properties where implementing the following insulation types are not suitable as they would cause damage to the fabric or structure of the property or building that the property is in:

  • Cavity wall insulation.
  • External wall insulation systems.
  • Internal wall insulation systems.

This exemption is applicable even where these insulation types have been recommended for a property on the EPC or Recommendation Report and meet the funding requirements.

What Property Type Can this Exemption be Applied to?

Both domestic and commercial properties.

How to Register

To register this exemption for their property the landlord must upload supporting documents on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.

Required information:

If this advice cannot be obtained from one of the aforementioned experts, then it may be obtained from an independent installer of the cavity/external/internal insulation systems. In this scenario the written advice would still need to be uploaded to the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.

Expiration and Re-Application

The Wall Insulation exemption lasts 5 years. Once expired, the landlord must try to improve the EPC rating again to at least the minimum rating required. If this is still not achievable then a further exemption can be registered.

How to Register

To register this exemption for their property the landlord must upload supporting documents on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.

Required information:

  • A valid EPC for the property.
  • Any other report that displays that there are no/no more improvements that can be made.
  • If applicable, evidence of implementing any recommendations that were suitable but didn’t raise the energy efficiency enough.
  • The full address of the rental property.
  • Which exemption type the property is being registered for.

Expiration and Re-Application

The All Improvements Made exemption lasts 5 years. Once expired, the landlord must try to improve the EPC rating again to at least the minimum rating required. If this is still not achievable then a further exemption can be registered

What is the "Consent" exemption?

Some energy efficiency improvements can legally require consent from a third party before being implemented. Examples of improvements that may require third party consent are things like external wall insulation and solar panels.

Third parties that may be required to consent include:

  • Local authorities
  • Mortgage lenders
  • Tenants
  • Higher up landlords (when the landlord is also a tenant).

Please note that this is not a complete list, landlords will need to check documents like leases, local requirements and mortgage conditions to see if there are third parties who need to consent to implementing any improvements.

What Property Type Can this Exemption be Applied to?

Both domestic and commercial properties.

How to Register

To register this exemption for their property the landlord must upload supporting documents on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.

Required information:

  • Correspondence or other documentation showing that consent is required to implement the improvement(s), and that consent was not given.
  • If consent was given but only under a condition that the landlord cannot reasonably comply with then this is acceptable but evidence must also be uploaded.
  • A valid EPC for the property.
  • The full address of the rental property.
  • Which exemption type the property is being registered for.

Limitations

If this exemption has been registered based on a tenant not providing consent then it will only last as long as the tenant continues to let the property, once the tenant leaves the landlord must implement the improvement before letting the property again.

Expiration and Re-Application

This exemption lasts for 5 years, with the exception of when the consent required is from a tenant (explained above in Limitations). Once expired, the landlord must try to improve the EPC rating again to at least the minimum rating required. If this is still not achievable then a further exemption can be registered.

Devaluation

What is the "Devaluation" Exemption?

This exemption can be used where an independent RICS surveyor advises that the installation of a recommended improvement will reduce the market value of the property, or the building that the property is part of, by more than 5%.

What Property Type Can this Exemption be Applied to?

Both domestic and commercial properties.

How to Register

To register this exemption for their property the landlord must upload supporting documents on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.

Required information:

  • A RICS surveyors' report stating that the recommended improvement(s) would lead to the property being devalued by more than 5%.
  • A valid EPC for the property.
  • The full address of the rental property.
  • Which exemption type the property is being registered for.

Limitations

Unless another exemption applies, if there are other improvements recommended for the property, then the landlord has to implement these before applying for the Devaluation exemption to see if they raise the rating enough.

Expiration and Re-Application

The Devaluation exemption lasts 5 years. Once expired, the landlord must try to improve the EPC rating again to at least the minimum rating required. If this is still not achievable then a further exemption can be registered.

New Landlord

What is the "New Landlord" Exemption?

This is a temporary exemption for the following circumstances, stated on the government's website, where someone may have suddenly become a landlord:

  • The grant of a lease due to a contractual obligation (this is intended to cover a situation where a contract was entered into on a contingent basis, regardless of whether it was entered into before or after the Regulations came into force).
  • Where the tenant becomes insolvent and the landlord has been the tenant’s guarantor (in this situation, the tenant’s guarantor becomes a landlord when taking over the lease).
  • The landlord has been a guarantor, or a former tenant, who has exercised the right to obtain an overriding lease of a property under section 19 of the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 (for the avoidance of doubt, a “guarantor” who exercises this right under the 1995 Act is the guarantor of a former tenant).
  • A new lease has been deemed created by operation of law.
  • A new lease has been granted under Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
  • A new lease has been granted by a court order, other than under Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
  • A person becomes the landlord on purchasing an interest in a property and, on the date of the purchase, it was let on an existing tenancy.

If you are unsure whether any of these exemptions apply to you, then the government advises that you source independent legal advice.

What Property Type Can this Exemption be Applied to?

Both domestic and commercial properties.

How to Register

To register this exemption for their property the landlord must upload supporting documents on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.

Required information:

  • The date on which they became the landlord of the property.
  • An account of how they became the landlord.
  • A valid EPC for the property.
  • The full address of the rental property.
  • Which exemption type the property is being registered for.

Expiration and Re-Application

The New Landlord exemption lasts 6 months from the date that they became a landlord. Once expired and if the landlord intends to continue letting the property, the landlord must have either improved the property to the required rating, or registered for another exemption if applicable.

MEES Exemption FAQs

What are MEES Exemptions?

MEES Exemptions allow landlords to let properties that do not comply with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Legislation. MEES regulations mean that landlords cannot let properties without achieving a certain EPC rating first.

How to apply for a MEES Exemption?

To register your property for a MEES Exemption you will need to gather the information required (which changes depending on the exemption, see “How to Register” in each of the exemptions listed above for what information will be needed) and upload it to the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register.

Is there any exemption to MEES regulations?

Yes, there are 7 exemptions which exclude properties from MEES regulations and last from 6 months - 5 years.

See above for detailed breakdowns of each exemption.

For more information about MEES legislation and what it means for you see our resources on MEES.
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