Landlords across Bath are being warned to check their rental properties meets the legal minimum energy efficiency standard or face a fine of up to £5,000.
Bath & North East Somerset Council is responsible for enforcing Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations, and a new campaign will see trading standards officers and housing services working together to identify domestic properties across the area that do not have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of at least band E.
A policy for the enforcement of the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property in England And Wales) Regulations 2015, which would give the council the power to issue financial penalties is being recommended in a report to cabinet member for planning, Councillor Tim Ball.
If approved, the compliance and enforcement project will require landlords who let out private sector domestic accommodation that is below the legal minimum rating to make property improvements and bring the homes up to a rating of at least E or face a fine of up to £5,000 per property.
Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Planning and Licensing, said: “The council is committed to improving the health and well-being of its residents by reducing the number of people living in cold and damp conditions in homes that are hard to heat and expensive to run.
“The private rented sector makes up 27% of the Bath and North East Somerset housing stock and although the majority meet the current legal minimum energy efficiency standard, we need to identify those which do not and ensure energy efficiency improvements take place.
“This proposed project will also reduce carbon emissions by improving the energy efficiency of those homes.
“I welcome the report as it sets out a policy for the enforcement of the domestic minimum level of energy efficiency regulations. I will consider it carefully before making my decision.”
B&NES landlords may be eligible for grant funding for property improvements.
More information can be found on the Energy at Home website here.
If the cost of the required property improvements is above £3500, the landlord is required to make all possible improvements up to that amount and then may register an exemption.
If an exemption is not registered and the property remains sub-standard, a Penalty Notice of up to £5000 can be issued and details published.
A decision on the Policy for the Enforcement of the Domestic Minimum Level of Energy Regulations will be made on or after 2nd December 2021.
The compliance and enforcement project has been funded by a grant from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in partnership with the Midlands Energy Hub.