Minimum EPC regulations: implementation timetable updated

The Scottish Government has advised SAL that it intends to postpone the introduction of the minimum EPC requirement until 1 October 2020 due to delays in finalising the regulations. The government now intends to lay final regulations before parliament by April to introduce the minimum standards, which are detailed below.

Private rented sector properties in Scotland will need to achieve at least:

  • EPC of E at change of tenancy from 1 – October 2020
  • All rental properties must have an EPC rating of E by 31 March 2022
  • EPC of D at change of tenancy from 1 April 2022
  • All rental properties must have an EPC rating of D by 31 March 2025

In some situations it is proposed that there will be exemptions, including where:

  • It is not technically feasible to carry out improvements
  • Where other owners in a block of flats refuse consent to do work to common parts of the building
  • Where tenants refuse consent for work
  • Where permission to carry out work to a property which is listed or in a conservation area can’t be obtained
  • Where the cost of improvements needed in the period 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2022 exceeds £5000, and where the cost of improvements needed in the period after 31 March 2022 exceeds £5000.

It is intended that for all EPC related works, landlords will only be required to carry out such work where the cost of purchasing and installing it can be financed by means of funding provided by a grant or loan from Scottish Ministers.

Further details of proposed exemptions can be read in part 4 of the government’s draft guidance.

Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the standard and granting exemptions. It is proposed that fines of up to £5000 can be levied on those owners who don’t comply with the minimum standard or provide false or misleading information on the exemptions register.

As a member of the government’s working group set up in 2013 to develop proposals for regulating energy efficiency in private sector housing, SAL has been representing landlords from the outset. SAL’s response to a consultation on the draft regulations and guidance can be read here (members please remember to log in so that you can download documents).