Introduction of minimum energy efficiency rating for rental properties in Scotland
Following consultation in 2017, the Scottish government have announced that new standards will be introduced requiring a minimum energy efficiency rating for rented properties.
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.
Regulations will be brought in early 2019 which will confirm the detail of how the standards will be applied. The government will debate on whether changes to the expected standard of living warrants further changes.
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.
West Property will keep abreast of the updated changes and regulations that will come following this consultation and will liaise with Landlords of properties who fall below the required banding to discuss the practical measures of increasing the EPC bandings. Furthermore, advice can be sought from Home Energy Scotland who provide guidance on energy efficient measures that can be introduced.