Business Law: Alexandra Pilc highlights new duties for landlords

Alexandra Pilc of Ashton KCJ.

Alexandra Pilc of Ashton KCJ. - Credit: Archant

Landlords must act to avoid ending up in hot water over heating supplies – they must comply with the introduction of individual metering and charging on communal heating and other forms of heat networks.

Landlords operating a communal heat supply have until December 31, 2015 to comply with regulations which introduce new responsibilities on how services are metered and charged. The regulations apply to any type of building where the building is heated, cooled, or supplies hot water from a central source.

Technical details of the heating system or network must be reported to the National Measurement & Regulation Office no later than 31st December this year, and where applicable metering equipment must be in place by one year later, 31st December 2016.

Landlords will have a duty to install and maintain meters to monitor individual consumption, unless they can present a good case to show why it would not be feasible or cost-effective. For new buildings, meters must be installed from the start.

The aim is to increase accountability and understanding of individual energy usage and once meters are fitted, all invoices for heating will have to charge for actual usage and present the customer with accurate consumption information.

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Commercial Property Solicitor Alexandra Pilc says: “It is important that landlords take action sooner rather than later. If they fail to comply, it may lead to compliance notices and possibly financial penalties.”

The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 have been introduced in the UK in response to the European Energy Efficiency Directive.

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The types of buildings affected include those with a central boiler serving more than one customer, or a heat network where a boiler is shared with other buildings.

This could involve anything from small residential or commercial developments through to blocks of flats, university campuses and shopping centres.

: : Alexandra Pilc is a solicitor specialising in commercial property at Ashton KCJ. This article is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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