Minimum Energy Performance Certificate Requirement
Every property advertised for let must, by law, obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is a legal requirement and must be made available to prospective tenants. Failure to provide an EPC or failure to include the EPC rating in the advertisement material can result in a fine of up to £1000.
The EPC is prepared by an accredited assessor who will give the property an energy efficiency rating in terms of its impact on the environment with regard to carbon emissions on a scale of A to G, with the most efficient band being Band A.
The EPC rates the energy performance of the property and not the appliances within. The EPC contains information about the property’s energy use and typical energy costs, together with recommendations on how to reduce energy use and save money.
The Scottish Government has updated the minimum EPC requirements, which are due to come into force in 2020.
The draft legislation and guidance are due for publication in early May although the following minimum requirements will be as follows:
• Properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E at change of tenancy from 1 April 2020
• All rental properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E by 31 March 2022
• Properties must have a minimum EPC rating of D at change of tenancy from 1 April 2022
• All rental properties must have a minimum EPC rating of D by 31 March 2025
Exemptions in some cases will be available and it is envisaged that a new loan scheme will be developed for landlords to cover this outlay.
As from 1 April 2020, landlords may not grant a new tenancy for a property rated EPC F or G (unless an exemption applies). The landlord must improve the rating to the minimum rating of E (or register an exemption if one applies) before letting.
By 31 March 2022, the minimum rating will apply to all domestic private rented properties, even if there is no change in tenancy. So, from that date, landlord may not continue to let properties with an EPC rating of F or G, even to an existing tenancy (unless an exemption applies).
Local Authorities will be responsible for enforcing the standard and will keep a record of properties that have an exemption.
Landlords are therefore encouraged to take action as soon as possible.
Possible exemptions, as detailed below are expected to be present in the draft regulations:
• Technical – when the features of a property prevent the improvement of the property to the required standard.
• Legal – if the work cannot be legally carried out or only under strict restriction, for example due to restrictions on the building type (e.g. listed building, where an energy efficiency measure would be contrary to the current legal status) or area (e.g. in protected areas)
• Social – when a key actor refuses to give permission for the installation of energy efficiency measure or cannot get agreement from tenant or neighbours where a measure requires joint agreement
• Excessive cost – when the cost of the work exceeds a cost cap of £5000 to bring a property to an EPC E rating and a further £5000 to being to an EPC D rating.
Landlords would be subject to a civil penalty for letting a property that does not meet minimum standards.
Home Energy Scotland can provide free and impartial advice on installing energy efficiency measures as well as renewable energy technologies. www.homeenergyscotland Free Phone 0808 808 2282