Mar 6, 2023

Updates to UK Environmental legislation for privately rented properties


There are a couple of bills currently being discussed in the Houses of Parliament that are of interest to the private rented sector.  These are the MEES (No2) Bill and EU Retained Bill.

The first piece of legislation going through parliament of interest, is an updated version of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (No. 2) Bill, (MEES). The objective of the bill is to raise the EPC rating from E to C that a domestic property covered by the MEES regulations can be let, or re-let, for new tenancies from 2025 and all tenancies from 2028. It is Important to note however, that this proposed legislation is a private members bill and that these are rarely passed into law, though often they do go on to form the basis of future government policy.  Note, exemptions to the current MEES regulations expire this year and private landlords either must achieve EPC E minimum or re-apply for exemption.

Despite this regulatory uncertainty, it is of interest to business to improve their green credentials as future policy is heading in this direction. An independent review of the governments Net Zero strategy, ‘Mission Zero’, recommends that government to bring forward all consultations and work to mandate the Future Homes Standard by 2025 and for all homes sold to be EPC C by 2033.

For privately rented commercial properties, there is a government commitment to ensure these are EPC B by 2030. [1]

The other piece of legislation is the EU retained Bill. This is a huge bill that’s aim is to remove EU derived laws from the UK statute book. Defra is disproportionately affected, with 570 pieces of environmental legislation that could be scrapped by the end of 2023, covering water and sewage to clean air and biodiversity.

There are many directives that directly apply to housing that could be affected too. Directives that cover gas meters and appliances to energy efficiency (that include ESOS and EPC’s) are all derived from EU law.

The Bill states any legislation that is to be kept, requires discussion parliament. With so many laws affected (3700 total) in relatively short time, many government departments are likely to take advantage of a “3-year sunset period” for more complex reforms.

There is a strong desire to move towards these targets within the financial sector. London is the world’s leading center for green finance. The comprehensive business environmental reporting that SHIFT provides, is becoming essential when accessing financial products. Substantial savings are possible through preferential interest rate for businesses with net zero plans in place.

If you would like help to improve the energy efficiency of your privately rented buildings (commercial and domestic) then please be in touch.  As well as net zero roadmaps we deliver ESOS reports to building level.



Photo courtesy Derek Dye, Creative Commons.


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