The Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 are proposed to come into force on 1 April 2020.
The purpose of these regulations is to tackle the the least energy-efficient properties in Scotland.
These regulations outline minimum standards of energy efficiency landlords must meet for domestic private rented properties. EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) are used to measure this standard.
The regulations provide that a landlord is not permitted to let a domestic property if the energy performance indicator for the property is below the minimum level of energy efficiency.
What are the minimum levels and key dates?
From 1 April 2020 any new tenancies will require to have a minimum EPC rating of E.
On 31 March 2022 this requirement will extend to existing tenancies.
By 1 April 2022 any new tenancies will require to have a minimum EPC rating of D
On 31 March 2025 all private rented sector properties will need to have at least an EPC rating of D.
Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing these provisions and will be required to establish and maintain an exemption register (the PRS Exemption Register).
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
The energy efficiency regulations provide power to local authorities to impose both financial and publication penalties on landlords who have not complied with the minimum standards.
The highest financial penalty which can be imposed on a landlord must be no more than £5,000 however, landlords should note that the maximum amount of £5,000 applies per property (not per landlord). In terms of the publication penalty, this allows the local authority to publish details of the breach and the amount of any financial penalty levied. Effectively, private landlords can be named and shamed on a public register if there is a failure to comply.
Are there any exemptions?
Landlords can apply for exemptions in the following circumstances:
- Where the tenant has refused consent to any energy efficient improvements being made, or the landlord has been unable to obtain consent despite reasonable efforts
- Where the cost of making any relevant energy improvements exceeds a specified sum
However, to exercise any exemption the landlord must have registered the relevant information with the PRS Exemption Register.
The regulations are still in draft form and it may be that changes are made prior to the effective date. Accordingly, you may wish to keep an eye on our newsletters and future blogs to keep up to date with these regulations.
Should you have any questions in relation to your duties as a landlord or wish to know more about what the new Energy Efficiency Regulations mean for you, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our Private Rented Sector Team.