It has been announced in May 2018 that the Scottish Government will be introducing minimum energy efficiency standards in private rented sector to ensure that tenants live in homes that are warmer and more affordable to heat. These will be phased in and will increase over time:
From 1 April 2020, any new tenancy will require the property to have an EPC of at least band E.
By 31 March 2022, all properties will need to have at least EPC band E.
From 1 April 2022, any new tenancy will require the property to have an EPC of at least band D.
By 31 March 2025, all properties will need to have at least EPC band D.
The Scottish Government will publish regulations in early 2019. It is expected that this will include information about what exceptions may apply, how they will work in practice and also what penalties there will be for not meeting the required standards.
Will the standards be increased again?
As part of Energy Efficiency Scotland, there are consultations on proposals for privately rented homes to reach EPC band C by 2030, where technically feasible and cost effective to do so. The final decision on this will be confirmed as part of Energy Efficient Scotland in 2019.
Will standards apply to all properties?
Standards will apply to the majority of houses in the private rented sector. There could be some situations where a lower level of energy improvement was acceptable, for example due to legal, technical or cost reasons. It will be confirmed what exceptions will apply and how they will work in practice. These will be available in 2019 as part of draft regulations.
How will I know what to do?
If your property is managed by Yates Hellier, we will contact each of our landlords individually who’s properties have an EPC rating lower than D. We will explore options, costs and timeline for upgrading the properties to reach the new minimum standards. If you are not a client of ours, we recommend doing some further research to ensure you are compliant.
To minimise the disruption to tenants and to save money for our landlords in the long term we recommend to reach a minimum standard of D by 1st April 2020.
What support is available to help me improve my property?
As a landlord, you are responsible for making improvements to your property. However the Scottish Government supports a number of landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties through interest-free loans and cashback grants. Eligibility requirements can be accessed on the website of the Energy Saving Trust.
What happens if I don’t get the works done?
We consulted on the proposal that local authorities would issue civil fines to landlords who did not comply with the requirements. We will be working with local authorities to explore how this will work in more detail, and will confirm penalties as part of draft regulations in 2019.