Publication - Advice and guidance

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019: draft guidance

Published: 10 Jun 2019
Directorate:
Housing and Social Justice Directorate
Part of:
Housing
ISBN:
9781787818644

We are consulting on this draft guidance to the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019, due to be be laid before the Scottish Parliament later this year.

23 page PDF

930.7 kB

Contents
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019: draft guidance
8 FAQs

8 FAQs

How do you find out when a tenancy started?

The date of let will be included in the tenancy agreement. 

Local authorities can use a compliance notice to ask landlords about details of the tenancy such as the date the property was let, copies of the tenancy agreement, the EPC at the point of let and any other relevant details. If a landlord does not comply with a compliance notice they may be subject to a civil penalty. 

What is an exemption? 

While some properties cannot meet the minimum standards, nearly all properties can have some work done to improve their energy efficiency.  If you have done all the possible relevant improvements and still do not meet minimum standards, the property may be exempt from meeting minimum standards.  To be eligible for an exemption you must provide proof to the local authority. Details of exemptions and the proof required can be found in section 4.1

How are exemptions recorded? 

Local authorities will record exceptions. The Scottish Government will make available a template which local authorities may wish to use to record exceptions. 

How can local authorities find out how many PRS properties there are in my area and what their EPC rating is?

Local authorities can use Home Analytics to estimate the number of PRS properties that may not meet minimum standards. This can be cross checked with the EPC register and the Register of Landlords. 

What will the penalties be? 

Local authorities may impose a civil penalty on a landlord if their property does not comply with minimum standards and does not have a registered exemption.  Section 5.3 sets out the penalties. 

What if a landlord does not pay the penalty? 

In addition to this, under landlord registration legislation, local authorities are able to take account of a landlord’s failure to comply with any legislation that places a duty on the landlord.  Local authorities can take this into account when considering if a landlord meets the fit and proper person test. This means that if a landlord fails to meet minimum standards or to pay a penalty they could be removed from the Landlord Register and would not be able to continue to be a landlord. 

How do I know whether I comply with the regulations? 

If there is a change in tenancy you must have, from 1 April 2020:

  • a valid EPC that shows an EPC rating of at least E when you let your property or;
  • a valid exemption, registered with the local authority that says why your property does not comply with minimum standards

For all properties you must have, by 31 March 2022:

  • a valid EPC that shows an EPC rating of at least E to continue to let your property or;
  • a valid exemption, registered with the local authority that says why your property does not comply with minimum standards

If there is a change of tenancy, you must have from 1 April 2022:

  • A valid EPC that shows an EPC rating of at least D when you let your property or;
  • A valid exemption, registered with the local authority that says why your property does not comply with minimum standards

For all properties, you must have by 31 March 2025:

  • A valid EPC that shows an EPC rating of at least D to continue to let your property or;
  • A valid exemption, registered with the local authority that says why your property does not comply with minimum standards.

Once the work is complete, if it complies with minimum energy efficiency standards, a further EPC will serve as proof of having met the standard.  

What do I need to do if my property does not comply with regulations? 

If you know that your property does not meet minimum standards you can take action to improve the EPC rating of the property. The recommendations report on your EPC will suggest work that can be carried out to improve the energy efficiency of your property.   You can seek advice in the first instance from Home Energy Scotland[10]

How will landlords, as owners, know what to do?

Landlords will already have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when they let their properties to comply with current regulations. When an owner of a property gets an EPC they also receive a recommendations report, which offers further information on the building and the generic measures that can be applied to the property to improve its energy efficiency and environmental impact ratings. The report shows the improved ratings that would be achieved from applying these measures in the order they are presented.

However, we do recognise that landlords, as owners, will want to know what they could achieve within their properties.  For this reason we are seeking to broaden the expertise landlords can access by allowing certain construction professional such as chartered surveyors to provide their expert views on what potential measures could be considered. 

Finally, landlords and indeed all Scottish households, can seek impartial advice on energy efficiency and find out exactly what support they are eligible for - whatever their circumstances - by calling the Scottish Government Home Energy Scotland hotline on 0808 808 2282 or go to http://www.homeenergyscotland.org.uk/.

How will tenants know about minimum standards for energy efficiency?

Adverts for PRS properties must include an EPC rating, and EPC certificates should be attached to the property.  If the EPC does not meet the minimum standards tenants can check if the property has an exemption registered with the local authority. If there is no exemption registered, the local authority may consider taking action against the landlord.  

Leaflets for tenants will be made available. 

What is the role of letting agents? 

Paragraph 31 of the Letting Agent Code of Practice states: “If you know that a client is not meeting their legal obligations as a landlord and is refusing or unreasonably delaying complying with the law, you must not act on their behalf. In these circumstances, you must inform the appropriate authorities, such as the local authority, that the landlord is failing to meet their legal obligations.” 


Contact

Email: karen.major@gov.scot