Minimum Energy Efficiency- “Straight to D do not pass E”
The Scottish Government’s plans for minimum energy efficiency requirements in the PRS have been put on hold due to COVID-19. New regulations are soon to be presented before Parliament, aimed at improving the energy efficiency of private rented housing and prohibit the letting of properties that fall below the minimum energy efficiency standards. New guidance is also expected in January 2021.
The original plan in terms of the Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (that was due to come into force on 1 April 2020) was that the minimum standard for properties was to be set initially at an EPC rating of E and thereafter drop to an EPC rating of D. In short, with the delays caused by COVID-19, the Scottish Government has decided to miss out the interim step altogether and go straight to an EPC rating of D as follows:
- a) on change of tenancy from 1 April 2022; and
- b) all tenancies by 31 March 2025.
These are the original dates proposed for the move to an EPC rating of D. The Scottish Government has also combined the 2 previous cost caps of £5,000 to reach a rating of E and the further £5,000 to reach a rating of D, to give a new cost cap of £10,000 for landlords to spend to reach an EPC rating of D.
It will still be case that, any properties that are unable to meet the proposed minimum standard can be included on an exemption register, which will be operated and monitored by local authorities. Property owners can register a property as exempt for 5 years at a time but will have to provide evidence that they either cannot meet or have attempted to meet the required standard.