Energy efficiency in private rented housing

Exemptions from the energy efficiency regulations

Some properties are excluded from needing an EPC therefore not subject to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES). 

1) Buildings that don’t need an EPC on GOV.UK website

Other properties meet certain Exemption standards under MEES itself.

2) Properties on the Government's Exemptions Register (available October 2017) (following successful application) are exempt from the Energy Act 2016 requirements. They need to be legally required to have an EPC and be let on a relevant tenancy type but cannot be improved to meet the minimum standard of EPC band E for one of the reasons set out below:

  • Have undertaken improvements that are cost-effective but remain below an E EPC rating.
  • Necessary third party's permission to denied or unreasonable conditions applied
  • Measures would cause capital devaluation of the property of more than 5%.
  • Potential negative impact on the fabric or structure of the property (including insulation).

Find more information on exemptions and how to register them on the GOV.UK website. Please note that Housing Act powers will still be applied if properties aren’t reaching E in their EPCs.

The Council has also been given powers to enforce the Exemption Register. Landlords must ensure all the appropriate supporting information is uploaded with their exemption request.

Listed Buildings may not require an EPC if the necessary work to achieve an E+ rating would unacceptably alter the building’s character and appearance.

In order to know what energy efficiency improvement work would be necessary will likely necessitate getting an EPC. To understand the requirements and the historical significance of the property, landlords of Listed Buildings and/or properties in Article 4 conservation areas (currently Jericho and Osney) are advised to submit a Listed Building Pre-Planning application, listing all works intended to be carried out. Advice from the pre-application will help landlords gauge whether recommended works are likely to be possible before putting in a full planning application.

Apply for listed building pre-application advice

All properties will need to meet the Government's requirements in order to be added to the Exemptions Register (available October 2017), and must be on the register (or meet the E+ rating) to be legally let to new tenants from April 2018.

Further information and guidance