These new regulations have come out the Government's desire to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. A laudable aim!
But how will it affect private landlords? Well, for many of us - it won’t. Landlords of self-contained property with an individual meter will not be affected.
However, those landlords responsible for paying communal heating and hot water costs, before then charging each of their tenants separately will be. In this case the landlord will be seen as a “Heat supplier” under the new rules.
The changes are likely to affect landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation or a blocks of flats & bedsits where the water and heating is supplied by a communal heat source governed and paid for by the landlord, therefore making the landlord the “Heat supplier”.
“Heat suppliers” are defined in the legislation as a person who supplies and charges for the supply of heating, cooling or hot water to a “final customer” ( in this case their tenants ) through either “communal heating” or “a district heat network”
The exact details of these new regulations are contained in the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014
Some landlords and property management companies may find these new arrangement may not sit well with existing tenancy or lease provisions, which stipulate that individual tenants are required to make a pro-rata contribution to heating bills or costs. This is something to bare in mind. It might be that tenanancies and leases will need to be amended in light of these changes.
From 31st December landlords must ensure any individual meters already installed are accurate and that billing is in accordance with the provisions of the new regulations.
Where a landlord is classed as a ‘heat supplier’, as in the case of a House in Multiple Occupation or blocks of bedsits /flats, then the new regulations require them to notify the National Measurement & Regulation Office (NMRO) by 31 December 2015. Any notification will last for four years. Previously the notification was to be made by the 31st of April 2015, but presumably, the notification period has been extended to avoid any controversy during the election period.
To give notice, here's the notification form under regulation 3 of the of The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014.
Alternatively, it’s possible just to email the NMRO with the required information at this email address: email@example.com
The regulations will lead on to a possible communal heating viability assessment. These have a deadline of 31st December 2016. The viability assessment will consider the feasibility of installing meters to monitor individual hot water and heating consumption.
If the installation of individual meters is considered not to be practical then a further additional assessment must be made into the viability of alternative steps, for example the installation of thermostatic radiator valves and a hot water meter. Any action deemed reasonable would be required to be carried out by the end of 2016 and once installed, they need to be continuously operated, maintained and periodically inspected. Where installations have not been made, then further viability assessments and reports need to be repeated every 4 years.
Any question about the origins of these new rules can be quickly answered by looking at the language in the legislation. The constant references to Member States and directives gives away the fact that these regulations, like 90% of our laws & regulations come out from Brussels. The European Parliament aim is to ensure that all consumers becomer more geared to more considered energy usage.
Failure to comply with the new regualtion is a criminal offence, punishable with a £5000 fine. The legislation has already come into force but the requirement to notify has now been put back to December 31st 2015. The regulations also give the National Measurement Office (NMO) broad powers to impose civil sanctions including issuing a compliance notice and enforcement undertaking to pay a non-compliance penalty.
FORMS FOR LETTING PROPERTY
FINANCE AND TAX ON RENTAL PROPERTY
RENTAL PROPERTY REGULATIONS
FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS
HMO (HOUSE IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION)
TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME (TDS)
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES
COMMUNAL HEATING REGULATIONS
INVESTING IN BTL PROPERTY
A GUIDE FOR NEW LANDLORDS
WHICH PERIOD OF PROPERTY
BUYING OFF PLAN
KNOWING THE RISKS
PROPERTY INVESTMENT CLUBS
MANAGING RENTAL PROPERTY
GIVING NOTICE TO LEAVE
NON - PAYMENT OF RENT
GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK
THE TENANT WONT MOVE OUT
THE TENANT DOES A BUNK
RAISING THE RENT
REDUCING THE RENT
REPAYING THE TENANCY DEPOSIT
FAIR WEAR AND TEAR
MOULD AND CONDENSATION
MAINTENANCE OF A RENTAL PROPERTY
LETTING RENTAL PROPERTY
TEN STEPS TO LETTING
WRITING A LETTING ADVERT
FURNISHING A PROPERTY
LETTING AGENT OR DIY
SELECTING A LETTING AGENT
TENANTS ON BENEFITS
LETTING TO STUDENTS
PREPARING AN INVENTORY
RIGHT TO RENT GUIDANCE
TERMS OF A TENANCY
LENGTH OF A TENANCY
RESPONSIBILITY FOR REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE
TENANCIES IN SCOTLAND
LETTING TO TENANTS WITH PETS
LANDLORDS' WATER RESPONSIBILITIES
LEGISLATION OF LETTING PROPERTY
TENANCY DEPOSIT DISPUTES
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
HOUSING ACT APPEAL DISPUTES
THE LANDS TRIBUNAL
RIGHTS OF LIGHT APPLICATION
APPEALS FROM LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS (LVT's)
POSSESSION - SECTION 8 NOTICE
POSSESSION - SECTION 21 NOTICE
SECTION 21 TIMETABLE AND PROCESS
GROUNDS FOR POSSESSION
PREPARING FOR A POSSESSION HEARING
HARASSMENT BY LANDLORDS
RENT DISPUTES BETWEEN LANDLORD & TENANT
FAIR RENT (RAC)
MARKET RENT UNDER AST
LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS
MODIFICATION OF RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS