Rural businesses letting residential property have been urged to budget for the introduction of new rules which require them to spend £3,500 per property on energy efficiency upgrades.
The introduction of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations on April 1 prevented landlords granting a lease to new or existing tenants on properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) below an E.
However, there was an exemption if the landlord could prove improvements could not be funded by a third party.
But Strutt and Parker warned the ’no cost to the landlord’ provision will now be removed, making landowners liable for a financial contribution capped at £3,500.
Alice Robinson, associate director in the Stamford office of Strutt & Parker, said: “Although this is not a surprise, this is a decision that may prove particularly costly to rural landlords, as they are often renting out older properties, which can be harder to bring up to minimum energy standards.
Mrs Robinson added landlords who find themselves with a substandard property whichcannot be improved to an E grade for £3,500 or less should be able to apply for a new ‘high cost’ exemption.
However, it was understood landlords will still be required to carry out recommended energy improvement works up to the cap and it is at this point if the property does not achieve at least an E rating, the ‘high cost’ exemption can be registered.
Any investment in energy efficiency works made since October 2017 will be counted within the £3,500 cap, along with any available third-party funding.