Do the MEES apply to my property?
Whereas in the domestic sector, where every privately let property in England and Wales is subject to an EPC, the commercial side of MEES has a few types of let that are not covered. If your commercial property falls under any of the following then you do not require an EPC and therefore no exemption is needed:
- Properties rented with leases lasting 99 years or more
- Properties rented with leases lasting 6 months or less
- Properties that are do not require an EPC:
- Listed or officially protected buildings where the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter it
- A temporary building only going to be used for 2 years or less
- Buildings used as a place of worship or for other religious activities
- Industrial commercial sites, workshop or non-residential agricultural buildings that doesn’t use much energy (this generally amounts to including any warehouse space with no attached office or heating system)
- Any detached building with a total floor space under 50 square metres
- Any property due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the relevant planning and conservation consents
How can I get a MEES exemption for my commercial property?
To be exempt from commercial MEES rules, your property must be filed with the Private Rented Sector Exemption Register. The register is the same regardless of whether your property is a pub, a warehouse, a theme park, or a shop. There are several ways to get on the register, but each comes with it’s own necessary paperwork.
Below we’ve run through each exemption and what is needed for filing for it. Unless indicated otherwise, all of the exemptions are valid for 5 years from the date of issue:
A recommended wall insulation measure would have a negative impact on the building
- The written opinion of a relevant expert that the property can’t be improved to an E rating because a recommended wall insulation measure would have a negative impact on the property
All relevant improvements have been made and the property remains below an E
- A recommendation report that shows any energy efficiency improvement recommended for the property. This could be an EPC report, a report prepared by a surveyor, or a Green Deal report.
- Details of all recommended energy efficiency improvements which have been made at the property, including the date of installation.
The property is below an E and there are no improvements which can be made
- A recommendation report that shows that no improvements can be made. This could be an EPC report, a report prepared by a surveyor, or a Green Deal report.
A recommended energy efficiency improvement does not meet the seven year payback rule
- Three quotes from qualified installers for the cost of purchasing and installing the energy efficiency improvement
- Confirmation that you are sure that the improvement does not meet the seven year payback rule, including the calculations made to show this
Consent to an energy efficiency improvement was refused or made subject to unreasonable conditions
- Evidence that consent for an energy efficiency improvement was required and that this was asked for, and that consent was refused or granted subject to unreasonable conditions
The installation of specific energy efficiency measures will devalue the property by more than 5%
- A report from an independent RICS surveyor that provides evidence that the installation of a relevant measure would devalue the property by more than 5%
You have recently become a landlord under circumstances that qualify the property for an exemption
- The date that you became the landlord
- To explain which of the qualifying circumstances apply
Is it worth getting a commercial MEES exemption?
The process for commercial MEES exemptions can be both time consuming and complicated, and even once completed it doesn’t provide quite the guarantee you might expect. Given that MEES are a locally enforced piece of legislation, local authorities are open interpret it in different ways, with some viewing the commercial exemption register as effectively non-binding. A standard commercial MEES exemption is set for 5 years, but unless your local authority is willing to honour this you may find yourself in trouble down the line.
While exemptions are certainly possible for commercial buildings, our advice at London EPC is to first explore how you might be able to reach the E-grade minimum requirement first. In many cases it is much easier than you might first imagine for a commercial property to reach this level, especially with the assistance of our expert surveyors, who are committed to producing the best possible certificate for your property.
If your first EPC does not reach the required grade, our surveyors will take you through all the cheapest and most effective ways to increase your points without finding yourself out of pocket. This can be as simple as paperwork and changing out some light bulbs. On most occasions, the low cost upgrades recommended by our surveyors will get your property to a MEES compliant grade at a much lower cost than the necessary paperwork for the exemption register would have been.
If you have any questions about how or if you should apply for a commercial MEES exemption, feel free to send us an email or give us a call.