Debate on minimum energy efficiency rating for rental properties in Scotland

A Scottish government consultation is currently open in which a minimum energy efficiency rating for rented properties is being debated.

Published on April 7th, proposals outlined ways to ensure that all privately rented homes in Scotland meet a minimum required standard of energy efficiency. The put-forth Manifesto is split into two sections, Part One and Part Two. In Part One, the consultation will review whether private rented sector properties need to have a minimum EPC rating of ‘E’ from 2019, and whether this will need to rise to level ‘D’ from 2022. Currently, the Repairing Standard (2007) outlines the minimum standard of maintenance for private lettings; in Part Two of the Consultation, the government will debate on whether changes to the expected standard of living warrants further changes to this document.

Any changes to the EPC requirements will apply to all private properties currently covered under the Repairing Standard, with non-compliance punishable with a fine of up to £1,500. If the changes go ahead, 30,000 properties would be affected initially with a further 65,000 impacted should the EPC D rating become mandatory. Properties would have to undergo assessment, from which point landlords would have six months to make any required changes to ensure the property reaches the new energy efficiency requirements.

What does this means for landlords?

For many landlords, the changes will prompt some much needed re-evaluation of their properties.

Landlords who are dragging their heels with regards to improving and modernising properties will have their hands forced as the government takes steps to improve the standard of living in rented properties across the country. It’s not just the tenants who will experience the benefits though – for landlords, making properties more thermally efficient can lower heating bills and reduce running costs. By starting improvements now, landlords can spread the costs of these modernisations over several years and making the process more affordable.