Scottish landlords must start preparing for new regulations under Energy Efficient Scotland, which will come into force in less than a year’s time.
From 1st April 2020, all new private tenancies (even for existing tenants) in Scotland will require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least E. This will extend to all private rental properties (including those on existing contracts) by 31st March 2022.
However, when there is a change in tenancy after 1st April 2022, properties must need a minimum EPC rating of D, while all private rental homes will require at least a D rating by the end of March 2025. More detail on how these standards will be applied will be set out alongside draft regulations later this year.
Landlords who fail to comply with the rules under Energy Efficient Scotland will face fines of up to £4,000.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, first launched Energy Efficient Scotland in May 2018.
She announced that the Scottish Government is committed to improving the energy efficiency of homes in the private rental sector, so that tenants can enjoy housing that is warmer and cheaper to heat.
Private rental accommodation typically has poorer energy efficiency than other sectors in the domestic property market.
The Scottish Government has also proposed long-term domestic standards of EPC C by 2030, where it is technically feasible and cost effective.
It has produced the following guide for landlords on improving energy efficiency in their properties: https://www.gov.scot/publications/energy-efficient-scotland-user-guide-private-landlords/
Energy Efficient Scotland mirrors similar rules introduced under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in England and Wales in April 2018.
We remind all landlords across the UK to comply with relevant energy efficiency laws in the countries in which you own rental properties. We will continue to keep you up to date with your legal responsibilities.