Heat network regulations may affect landlords

Heat network regulations may affect landlords

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has warned that some landlords may be required to notify the National Measurement and Regulation Office (NMRO) regarding their property heating systems by 31December 2015.

A ‘Communal heating’ situation will typically trigger a need for landlords to provide details to the NMRO.

The RLA hoped these notification responsibilities would only impact institutional landlords, such as university halls and nursing homes. However, it appears they may affect HMO and bedsit property landlords who could be required to send notification of their ‘heating network’ to the relevant authorities.

A landlord must submit notification to the NMRO regarding details about the heating system of the property by 31 December 2015, and if required, install individual meters by 1 April 2016. There will be ongoing duties regarding maintenance and billing.

A landlord is a heat supplier if ALL of the following apply:

  • there is distribution of thermal energy in the form of steam, hot water, or chilled liquids from a central source in a building (e.g. a gas boiler)
  • the thermal energy is used to provide heating, hot water or cooling
  • the building is occupied by more than one final customer
  • the landlord bills more than one occupier for the heat or hot water that that person has used (or a proportion of).

Where the landlord is a “heat supplier” as defined above, the landlord must notify the NMRO by 31 December 2015. The notification must contain certain prescribed information. Although there is no prescribed form for this notification, the NMRO has produced a template that is suitable for this purpose.

The RLA is working with DCLG and DECC to find out just how these new regulations will impact landlords, see what can be done to limit their scope and to ensure there is clarity about what properties will be affected.