On 17 June 2019, the Scottish Government published the draft regulations and associated draft guidance for The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019

The guidance is aimed at landlords of domestic private rented properties, local authorities and other stakeholders. The Scottish Government is consulting on this, with responses required by 13 September 2019. The consultation asks for views on: the proposed approach to exemptions, advice and support available, lead-in times and penalties. It is expected that the regulations will be laid in Parliament after the Summer recess.

Energy Efficiency Standards

Minimum energy efficiency standards
It is proposed that the minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented properties in Scotland 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 an EPC of at least 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 an EPC of at least band D.
In addition, all properties will need to be at least EPC band C by 2030. The Scottish Government have consulted separately on a standard that from 1 April 2025, any new tenancy will require the property to have an EPC of at least band C. The Scottish Government have not yet published a response to this consultation. This page gives information about the draft regulations' requirements for private rented properties to meet EPC bands E and D. Regulations for meeting EPC band C will be confirmed at a future date.
Energy efficiency recommendations
The draft regulations use EPCs as the method to measure the minimum energy efficiency standards. Recommendations will be based on an EPC Recommendation Report which landlords can use to find out what type of work they can do to improve the energy efficiency of their property in order to meet minimum energy efficiency standards.
The following key exemptions are proposed in the draft regulations. These outline specific circumstances when a private landlord would not be required to meet the minimum energy efficiency standards:
  • All relevant energy efficiency improvements have been made .
  • Relevant improvements will cause damage to the fabric or structure of the property
  • Access to carry out work has been refused or unreasonable conditions have been set by the tenant or a relevant third party
  • If the relevant improvements cannot be carried out on the property as it affects the listing or conservation status .
  • When the landlord plans to dispose of a property through demolition .
For a full list of exemptions and further information on their criteria you should refer to the draft regulations. For all exemptions it is proposed that:
  • Local authorities will establish and maintain their own register of exemptions that will record the type of exemption, the proof of exemption and date the exemption is valid until;
  • Landlords must supply proof of their exemption to the local authority; and
  • Most exemptions will last for 5 years, unless there is a temporary abeyance.
In these cases, it is proposed that the landlord must register information with the local authority to support this by way of a valid exemption.
Enforcement of the standards
The draft reulations propose that local authorities enforce the minimum standard, including recording and monitoring exemptions, and where necessary, serve a penalty notice on landlords that do not comply with the standards. The proposed penalties in these regulations are:
  • a financial penalty not exceeding £2,000 and the publication penalty where the breach is less than 3 months;
  • a financial penalty not exceeding £4,000 and the publication penalty where the breach exceeds 3 months;
  • where a landlord provides false or misleading information in connection with the compliance notice set out in regulation 17(2) a financial penalty not exceeding £1,000 and the publication penalty; or
  • where the landlord fails to comply with the compliance notice in breach of regulation 20(4) the penalties are a financial penalty not exceeding £2,000 and the publication penalty.
The regulations also give landlords the ability to appeal the decision of a penalty notice review. Further information can be found in the draft regulations.
Benefit from making your property more energy efficient
Making energy efficient changes to your property could result in:
  • Raised property values
  • Higher EPC ratings, to comply with the introduced minimum energy efficiency standards and to help make properties easier to let
  • Lower energy bills for tenants leading to them being warmer at home
  • Reduce rent arrears and defaults
  • Lower turnover of tenancies
  • Meeting energy and heating efficiency standards set for the landlord accreditation scheme
  • Reduced levels of fuel poverty experienced by tenants
  • Reduced incidences of condensation and dampness
  • Reduced carbon dioxide emissions from properties
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