Ann-marie Clow

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Currently Trending – #MEES (part 2)

Property / 19 February 2018

We wrote last week – click here for article – about how we’re not sure if the Death Star in Star Wars would have complied with MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards), and we’re not entirely convinced how energy efficient those light sabres are either.  Here on planet GB, there is no escaping MEES and the Regulations.

In this second part of our MEES feature, we look at a few areas from the perspective of both a landlord and tenant of commercial property.

Issues for tenants

Tenants may object to efforts by landlords to attempt to shift the burden and cost of MEES compliance on to them in new leases, by saying that such works constitute an improvement and not repair.

Tenants should discuss and agree with their landlords who will be responsible for the carrying out (be it the landlord, or whether both landlord and tenant will perhaps share in this task) and funding of MEES compliance/improvement works prior to the grant of a new or renewal lease.

Tenants of short leases may feel that they do not occupy the premises long enough to recoup the cost of or have the benefit of the improvement works. For example, works to common parts where the cost of such works are recoverable by the landlord through the service charge, or the installation of new windows in the premises to improve energy efficiency. They may simply want to limit works to patch repairs.

Tenants may want the ability to carry out energy efficiency improvement works where this is necessary to secure a subletting without the landlord or superior landlord being “challenging” when it comes to granting licences for alterations.

Issues for landlord or those acting for landlords

Landlords may require a right of entry to install meters to monitor energy performance or to carry out energy improvement works.

On the other hand, landlords might not actually want to have such rights to enter, or rights to carry out such works. They can then rely on the exemption provision -as they have sought the tenant’s consent – but the tenant has refused it entry and consent to carry out the works.

There will be some landlords who may wish to consider incorporating express provisions within their leases dealing with services and service charge programmes which expressly allows energy efficiency improvements works to be carried out.  This will enable them to ensure that they can recover the costs of carrying out those improvement works from their tenants.

Check out next week’s feature on MEES which will look at some possible tenant covenants to consider in leases and food for thought in dealing with rent reviews and dilapidations.

In the meantime, “May The Force continue to be with you.”


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