Recent Developments in Residential Property Law

Cost of MEES

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for properties that are to be let, come into force on 1 April 2018. Residential landlords of properties with an EPC rating of F or G will be compelled by law to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties, but under existing law only if this can be done at “no cost to the landlord”.

However, the government has now issued a consultation, which suggests that landlords of sub-standard

residential properties will be obliged to contribute towards the cost of improving the energy efficiency of such properties, but with a “cap” on their contribution of £2,500 per property. The proposal is that these changes should take effect on 1 April 2019. On that date, any existing exemptions registered by landlords based on the current 'no cost to the landlord' principle would cease to be valid.

Labrums property team said:

“Landlords must plan ahead in case they have to spend their own money improving their property portfolio to reach the MEES standard by the appointed date. A landlord will need to ascertain what works are required and investigate whether “no cost” funding is available. If it is, this should be used. If it is not, then the landlord must carry out sufficient works to reach an E rating, using his own funds, up to a maximum of £2,500 per property (inclusive of the amount of any third-party funding that is available). A landlord who spends the full £2,500 on a property but is unable to bring the rating up to E, would be entitled to register an exemption, which would last for five years.”

Residential Property      

Residential tenancies

The Housing and Planning Act 2016, which is progressively coming in to force, covers a wide range of property-related matters, such as “rogue landlords”, recovery of abandoned premises, enfranchisement, tenancy deposit schemes and statutory rent charge redemption prices.

Labrums property team said:

“Managing agents face the prospect of increased regulation, such as the banning of unfair letting fees, so they need to start planning ahead for the changes, which are inevitably coming their way”