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Dennis Flower, editor of Premises and Facilities Management looks the likely impact of new legislation on commercial landlords.

Research results published last month revealed that 45% of commercial landlords have little or no understanding of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations, which come into effect on 1 April next year.

From that point, commercial buildings with an energy performance certificate (EPC) of F or G will not be allowed to be let to new occupants or renew existing contracts with tenants.

Landlords found to be in breach of the MEES regulations three months after the April 2018 deadline will receive fines of 20% of the rateable value, up to a maximum of £150,000.

According to the E.ON survey, more than 50% of the landlords surveyed stated that at least 40% of their property portfolio does not currently comply.

A further 34% of respondents stated their concerns that the MEES regulations will affect the renewal of new leasing agreements.

65% said they had or would consider raising rental levels to cover the cost of meeting the MEES regulations.

Dennis Flower Editor of Premises and Facilities Management

These worries also extend to the issue of how to make their facilities compliant for nearly a third of those surveyed, with 30% also stating that they do not feel sufficiently informed on how to maximise the energy efficiency potential of their properties.

With 37% listing concerns over EPC ratings, this compared with 34% listing mortgage repayment concerns, 27% citing the issue of keeping tenants content and another 27% stating that unexpected expensive repairs were among their main worries.

In order to cover the cost of meeting the MEES regulations, 65% said they had or would consider raising rental levels, with 88% stating that tenants would benefit from lower bills as a result of improved energy efficiency.

106 Impact of MEES on FM
MEES Commercial landlords really need to understand MEES now

E.ON director of customer solutions Phil Gilbert said property landlords, owners and managers "have a long way to go to get their properties up to standard".

"Clearly there's no silver bullet that works for all types of business buildings and all industry sectors but by getting some expert advice from a trusted energy partner you can make your buildings work harder for you," he said.

Advantages of meeting the MEES regulations include reduced overheads, justifying higher rents and future-proofing buildings, said Mr Gilbert.

Dennis Flower is editor of Premise and Facilities Management Magazine.

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Mitsubishi Electric has published a free, CPD-Accredited Guide to the MEES regulations.