The Government has now laid before Parliament the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (the “PR Regulations”) and published its response to the consultation in relation to the same that was undertaken over the summer last year. Please see here our previous update on the consultation. In large measure the Government has adopted the proposals set out in the consultation papers but has been receptive to the views expressed by the respondents to the consultations. Please see the links to the Government responses Domestic and Non-Domestic. We therefore now have a much clearer idea of how exactly the PR Regulations - and the various exemptions within the PR Regulations - will operate and also the penalties for non-compliance.

A significant new feature of the PR Regulations is that all exemptions will be required to be notified to a PRS Exemptions Register that will be run by the Department of Energy & Climate Change. This will be a centralised database of exemptions and will be open to public inspection. Failure to register any exemption will render the exemption ineffective and will itself amount to non-compliance with the PR Regulations. Local authorities – who will enforce the PR Regulations probably using their trading standards departments -will be entitled to require landlords to furnish them with evidence to support any claim to exemption and landlords will also be in breach of the PR Regulations if they claim an exemption to which they are not properly entitled.

We have in Table 1 summarised the key provisions in the PR Regulations which relate to the proposed minimum energy efficiency standard that will apply within the domestic and non-domestic private rented sectors. In Table 2 we have summarised the new right for tenants of a domestic private rented property to request the consent of their landlord to carry out energy efficiency improvements and place a duty on the landlord (and any superior landlord) not unreasonably to withhold its consent to the improvement being made.

The detail contained within the PR Regulations is quite complicated - and in some cases still a matter for conjecture - and we will not attempt to summarise the same here. The PR Regulations still require Parliamentary scrutiny so their precise wording may be subject to further refinement. It is however anticipated that the PR Regulations will be passed before this session of Parliament is dissolved on 30 March 2015. Once the PR Regulations have been passed we will be organising briefings on them for our clients and contacts.

Click here to view table.

Click here to view table.