7. Legal Aid Impact Test
7.1 The test requires the consideration of the following:
- Will the regulations create any new offences/appeals procedures, etc.?
- Do they change the way in how existing offences are disposed of e.g. court or tribunal procedures will be introduced?
- If there is a similar policy in place at the moment, how many court cases currently exist per year in relation to it and what their costs are to defend?
7.2 Long-term domestic standard
Work is ongoing to develop a means of enforcement and until that is concluded we are not in a position to conclude on the likelihood of the creation of a new offence or appeals process, nor on the means of disposal. Further work will be required on this as the proposal moves closer to draft regulation.
Social landlords are responsible for sourcing materials and planning energy efficiency installations in their tenant’s homes, and they must have the co-operation of tenants to proceed with works. If any tenant were unhappy with how this was progressed, they would raise the matter directly with their housing provider (local authority or registered social landlord) and if still dissatisfied would refer the matter to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman or the Scottish Housing Regulator. We do not foresee any increased access by social tenants to the legal aid fund as a result of the implementation of EESSH2.
7.4 LHEES & District Heating
We do not foresee anything in our proposals at present which would result in any increase in individuals requiring access to the legal aid fund. While there is always the potential for disputes around alleged mis-selling or complaints about poor installation, the measures we propose for a robust licensing regime to ensure minimum standards and maximise consumer protection leads us to envisage no increase in such cases going down a legal route and, in fact, instances of cases going to court may be proportionally reduced as a result of our proposed measures.