The Scottish Government has opened formal consultation on its attempts to introduce minimum standards of energy efficiency for the private rented sector north of the border.
The consultation seeks views on requiring all private rental flats and houses to have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of E at a change in tenancy from 2019, rising to EPC level ‘D’ from 2022. By the later date, some 95,000 properties will be subject to the new standard, it is thought.
The standard will apply to privately rented properties covered by the repairing standard, with local authorities having the power to issue a civil fine of up to £1,500 against a non-compliant landlord.
The consultation proposes exceptions to the standard to ensure that measures are only installed when they are technically feasible and costs are capped at £5,000.
Landlords or their agents would have six months from the point of assessment to improve their properties. The Scottish Government proposes that an owner who fails to comply with the standard would be subject to a civil fine.
Views are also sought on whether the standard should go beyond EPC level D at some point and the existing incentives available to landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.
The consultation takes forward the Scottish National Party’s manifesto commitment to consult on a national standard for private rented homes to ensure a good basic standard of accommodation. The repairing standard is the minimum standard for private rented housing and, since its introduction in 2007, there have been rising public expectations of what is needed to ensure homes are safe.
In this part, the Scottish Government is consulting on:
- Changes to the repairing standard to bring it closer to the standard required in social rented housing: meeting the tolerable standard, safe kitchens, food storage, central heating, lead free pipes, safe access toc common facilities, and safe and secure common doors.
- Other changes to the repairing standard to make homes safer by reducing the risks from scalding, electrocution, asbestos, unwholesome water, or the impact of noise. Also whether homes should have fridges and freezers so that people can preserve food.
A timescale for any other the changes eventually adopted and the possibility of extending the scope of the repairing standard to cover agricultural tenancies and some holiday lets.
You can see the consultation here - the deadline for submissions is June 30.