The government is being criticised for its latest consultation exercise on the new Minimum Energy Efficient Standards - because it ends just two weeks before the rules come into effect.
MEES comes into effect on April 1 2018 from when it will be illegal for a private landlord to let a property with an energy performance certificate rating lower than E to a new tenant.
The rural business organisation CLA - which says its members provide around 40 per cent of private rented homes in rural areas - says that although it supports the principles behind MEES, time has run out for the government to consult properly on changes and provide the right guidance.
“The residential lettings market has been thrown into chaos because the government has not left sufficient time to consult on necessary changes to the legislation and ensure landlords are given the correct guidance” explains CLA president Tim Breitmeyer.
“We have repeatedly called on the government to revise the MEES regulations for the past two years but time is running out. Closing this consultation just two weeks before the rules take effect is really leaving landlords in the lurch. Properties could be taken off the rural rental market because some landlords will be unable to find the money needed to make energy improvements at such short notice” he claims.
Breitmeyer says that despite the poor timing of the consultation from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, its proposals do contain some sensible ideas.
“The proposed cost cap of £2,500 per property goes some way to help clarify and simplify the contribution a landlord must make. However, landlords who acted early to comply with MEES are penalised because only money spent after October 1 2017 will count towards to the cap. We will be responding to the consultation to argue that any money spent improving a property since the regulations were first published in July 2015 should count towards it.”