Residential property
20 Apr 2020 News

Energy Performance Certificate changes put on hold

The Scottish Government’s announcement last year that rental properties should meet certain energy efficiency levels, provided many landlords with a headache. Many landlords, especially in rural settings, hold housing stock which falls far below the minimum E rating, whilst others do not have the cash flow to make the improvements necessary to all their properties. 

The Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (“the regulations”) had been set to come into effect on 1 April this year. However, a recent government announcement, effectively pausing their coming into force during Covid-19 has afforded landlords some respite, when they have many other issues on their mind.

In a letter to Parliament, Kevin Stewart, the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning announced that the regulations would not come into force at present due to issues presents by the Covid-19 outbreak. Lockdown means it is not possible for landlords to carry out energy efficiency works without breaching social distancing guidance and the creation of an enforcement system would put an unnecessary burden on already stretched local authorities during the outbreak.

It is now unclear when the deadline for an E rating (the first rating to be enforced by the regulations) will come into effect. However, it is important to remember that the coming into effect and enforcement of these regulations has only been paused and not revoked. It is still the government’s intention that the regulations will be given full effect after the outbreak is over.

Whilst it may not possible to carry out improvement works properties during the lockdown, the pause affords landlords valuable planning and thinking time to consider how to comply with the regulations once they come into force.   It’s time that should be used wisely.

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