LANDLORDS are running out of time to get to grips with new energy efficiency legislation, a Worcestershire property expert has warned.

Ian Parker, a director of Redditch-based commercial property agents John Truslove, said nearly a fifth of properties could be unlettable if they are not upgraded to meet new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations.

The MEES regulations make it unlawful, from next April, to let commercial and residential buildings in England which do not achieve a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘E’.

Mr Parker said: “Nearly a fifth of properties are currently rated F and G, and these will be unlettable.

“The valuation of such properties will be hit and considerable investment will be required to get these sub-standard buildings upgraded to the necessary level.

“The deadline applies to lease renewals as well as new lettings, and it represents a huge change.

“Many in the property sector – investors, developers and lenders as well as landlords – are yet to come to terms with these new rules, although they are now less than six months away.”

Mr Parker said the government is bringing in the new MEES Regulations to help the UK to meet carbon reduction targets. Latest building regulations are designed to ensure new properties meet current energy efficiency standards, but MEES tackles older building stock.

Mr Parker added: “Energy efficiency in buildings is high on the government’s list of priorities and needs also to be high up that of landlords. Penalties for non-compliance are based on rateable values and could reach £150,000 per asset.

“It will also be important for landlords to keep a close eye on their D and E rated properties.

"The worst-case scenario is that some properties become almost worthless. Landlords should seek advice on how best to address these issues.”