Built Intelligence

How to Advise Clients on Increased MEES Targets by Property Elite

How to Advise Clients on Increased MEES Targets by Property Elite

This article looks at the proposed increase in targets under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) and how you can recommend that clients achieve these.

What is MEES?

Under MEES, from 1 April 2018 it has been illegal to grant a new lease, lease renewal or lease extension of a property with an EPC rating of F or G.
From 1 April 2020, existing leases of residential properties became unlawful for properties with an EPC rating of F or G.

How will MEES be tightened?

From 1 April 2023, the above will apply to existing leases of commercial properties.

There are specific exemptions from compliance with MEES. You can read the full list and in-depth detail on the Government website.

The Government are looking at further increasing the targets under MEES, following the Energy White Paper published in December 2020. This proposes to increase the minimum EPC rating to B by 2030, with potential transitional steps to D in 2025 and C in 2027.
How can I best advise clients who own properties which might fall within the scope of MEES?
There are a number of key steps to advising clients who own properties, or are considering acquiring properties, which might fall within the tightened scope of MEES:
  1. Audit the existing portfolio and apply a Red Amber Green (RAG) analysis to prioritise high risk properties, i.e., where EPC ratings are C or below.

  2. Ensure existing EPCs are accurate and up-to-date to provide a baseline performance measure (see 4 for action to take following this step!).

  3. Consider other factors other than just the EPC rating, e.g., imminent lease expiries, proposed works, tenant’s improvements or EPC expiries.

  4. Obtain specialist advice from an energy assessor to undertake new EPCs in draft form only.

  5. Ensure that the energy assessor provides in-depth guidance on potential improvements, rather than just relying on the EPC recommendation report. Cost benefit analysis can then be undertaken on the proposed measures to ensure that they have an adequate payback and fit within the wider strategy for the property or portfolio.

  6. Consider how any proposed works will be financed, e.g., is a tenant contracted to contribute a proportion under their lease or is market finance available for specific improvement measures.

  7. Instruct the works in good time and seek to minimise disruption to operations or tenant’s trade.

  8. Take advice from an accountant on the tax liability and potential to write off expenditure on improvements as capital allowances.

About the author - Jen Lemen BSc (Hons) FRICS 

Jen has extensive experience in providing training services to students, RICS AssocRICS, APC and FRICS candidates and corporate clients, together with academic experience as a Senior Lecturer at the University of the West of England, Lecture at the University of Portsmouth and Associate Tutor at the University College of Estate Management. Her RICS assessment experience includes sitting on final APC interview panels, APC appeal panels and being a lead APC preliminary review assessor.

She has also written published articles in Property Week, ACES Terrier, RICS Modus and the RICS Property Journal. She also writes a regular APC column in Estates Gazette Brick & Mortar podcast series with Sarah Jackman and is a contributing author to the Health & Safety section on RICS iSurv.


Sign up to the latest free webinars on NEC3, NEC4, CDM, JCT and more.