Proposals for an energy efficiency standard for private rented housing
Timeline for compliance with the PRS Energy Efficiency Standard and Scotland's Energy Efficiency Programme
- Scope: privately rented properties covered by the repairing standard will need to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard. See Section 1 for further information.
- Setting the standard: the standard will be based on the energy efficiency rating on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) (see Section 2). The standard will be an EPC band E initially (affecting 30,000 properties) (Section 3), and will be raised to a band D (affecting a further 65,000 properties) over time (Section 10). We are also seeking views on raising it beyond this level (Section 11).
- Point of rental and backstop date: the standard will initially apply to properties where there is a change in tenancy, and then to all properties (Section 4).
- Meeting the initial standard of E: the standard will initially apply to properties where there is a change in tenancy after 1 April 2019. A change in tenancy is where a new tenancy agreement is required under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 (which comes into force from December 2017), and a property meets the standard if it has a valid EPC showing an energy efficiency band E. Where the EPC shows a band of F or G, the owner will need to have a minimum standards assessment (which is a new assessment proposed in this consultation, see Section 7 for further information) carried out and lodged on the EPC register before renting out the property. The owner will have to bring the property up to the standard required by that assessment (which will normally be an EPC E) within six months of the date of the assessment. See Section 5 for further information.
- Backstop date: all properties covered by the repairing standard would need to meet the energy efficiency standard by 31 March 2022 (the "backstop date"). Where the property has an EPC rating of F or G (and is not covered by an exception following a change in tenancy - see Section 9) the owner would need to have a minimum standards assessment carried out by 30 September 2021, allowing a six-month period to carry out the required improvements ahead of the backstop date. See Section 6 for further information.
- Raising the standard to EPC D: properties covered by the repairing standard would meet the standard at a change in tenancy after 1 April 2022 if they have an EPC energy efficiency rating of D, and this standard would apply to all properties by 31 March 2025. The application of the standard of D at change in tenancy and by the backstop date would work in the same way as for the initial standard of E. Any increase in the standard from 2025 would be considered following future review of the implementation of the initial minimum standards. See Sections 10 and 13 for further information.
- Doing the work: the owner of the property will be responsible for getting the improvements required by the minimum standards assessment done. See Sections 8 and 12.
- Fines: local authorities will have the power to issue civil fines of up to £1,500 against any owner who does not comply with the standard. See Section 9 for more information.
- Exceptions: recognising that in some cases there may be valid reasons why an owner cannot comply fully with the minimum standard, there will be some situations where an owner is not required to do all the improvements identified in the assessment, or will have a longer time to do so. We are proposing a cost cap of £5000, and we are seeking views on the existing incentives available to improve the energy efficiency of privately rented properties. See Section 9 for further information.