As of 1 April 2018, all buildings within the scope of the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) must have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of E. This will apply to new lets and renewals of tenancies and from 1 April 2020, it will extend to all tenancies, including sitting tenants. This will mean that it will be unlawful to rent a property that has less than an E rating.
A civil penalty of up to £4,000 will be imposed for breaches, so it is imperative that landlords ensure that their rental properties meet energy efficiency standards.
New Requirements for Serving a Section 21 Notice
From 1 October 2015, new provisions applied to all new assured shorthold tenancies starting on or after that date. These new provisions state that a landlord cannot serve a section 21 notice:
- Within 4 months from the date on which the assured shorthold tenancy began;
- Within 6 months of receiving an improvement notice or notice of emergency remedial action under the Housing Act 2004;
- Unless he/she has provided the tenant with:
a) An energy performance certificate;
b) A gas safety certificate (if the property has gas); and
c) A copy of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s booklet called “How to Rent: the checklist for renting in England”.
A new prescribed form for the section 21 notice also has to be used for all new assured shorthold tenancies starting on or before 1 October 2015 and proceedings for a possession order must be commenced within 6 months from the date on which the section 21 notice was given.
However, as of 1 October 2018, these provisions will apply to all assured shorthold tenancies in existence at that time.