The Scottish Parliament is introducing regulations which will delay the deadline for meeting the new standards.
Landlords groups in Scotland have welcomed the move which will give landlords an extra 6 months to prepare their properties to meet the new standard. The deadline will be pushed back from its original 1st of April date, to the 1st of October 2020.
Under the new rules, homes in the private rented sector (PRS) will need to meet a minimum EPC rating of “E” by 1 October 2020 before they can be re-let.
The new standards are intended to improve the energy efficiency of, in particular, older housing stock known to be inefficient and expensive to run in respect of energy waste, carbon emissions and tenants’ heating bills.
The rules will mean that private rented sector properties in Scotland must achieve:
- An EPC of E at change of tenancy from 1 October 2020
- All currently rented properties an EPC rating of E by 31 March 2022
- An EPC of D at change of tenancy from 1 April 2022
- All currently rented properties an EPC rating of D by 31 March 2025
Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the standard and where appropriate, granting exemptions. Failure to comply will result in liability to fines of up to £5000 per property.
The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) told the Scottish Housing News that it has worked closely with “the Scottish Government and other stakeholders, with requirements for rented properties now far exceeding those for owner-occupied homes and the Scottish Government providing loan funding to private landlords for EPC related works… landlords will now have the time they need to check their properties are compliant and carry out remedial work to bring them up to standard if needed in time for the revised deadline.”
John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), had said:
“Privately rented properties in Scotland are often held to much higher standards than other types of housing so it is important that any new measures are proportional and realistic.
“The change in the timetable for landlords to improve energy efficiency standards is a sensible one, and we are also very keen to see the correct level of support for landlords to achieve these challenging goals.
“It is only proper that tenants in Scotland have the reassurance of knowing that their properties are energy efficient, their bills are reduced and that their landlord is helping to tackle the climate emergency. We are pleased that the government is allowing more time to get this initiative right.”
There will be exemptions in specific circumstances, see the legislation guidance below.
Landlords will generally only be required to carry out work to improve energy efficiency where the cost of providing it can be financed by funding provided by a grant or loan.