Support for private landlords
Want to improve the energy efficiency of your rental property or considering installing a renewable technology? There is a variety of help and support available to private sector landlords in Scotland. Call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 for free, impartial advice, funded by the Scottish Government.
If you are a registered social landlord please visit our page on how we can support social housing providers.
Your responsibilities towards meeting set energy efficiency standards
The Scottish Government is committed to improving the energy efficiency of homes in the private rented sector and on 2 May 2018 announced minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented properties on 2 May 2018.
The standards form part of the Energy Efficient Scotland programme which aims to ensure homes and buildings are warmer, greener and more efficient. You can read more about this programme in the Energy Efficiency Scotland routemap.
Furthermore, on 26 March 2019 the Scottish Government opened a consultation on Energy Efficient Scotland to gather evidence which might support a change to the proposed timeframe. The consultation includes some additional proposals and details in relation to minimum energy efficiency standards for the private rented sector and I scheduled to close on 17 June 2019.
The new minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented properties in Scotland will be phased in and will increase over time:
- From 1 April 2020, any new tenancy will require the property to have an EPC of at least band E.
- By 31 March 2022, all properties will need to have at least EPC band E.
- From 1 April 2022, any new tenancy will require the property to have an EPC of at least band D.
- By 31 March 2025, all properties will need to have at least EPC band D.
- From 1 April 2025, any new tenancy will require the property to have an EPC of at least band C (this requirement is currently in consultation).
- By 2030, all properties will need to have at least EPC band C.
The Scottish Government is currently drafting regulations and additional guidance on these standards. These will be published in May 2019 and consulted on over the summer. The following broad headlines give some indication of the detail we expect to see:
- Regulations to set out high level exceptions.
- 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 measures 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 £5,000 to bring a property to an EPC E and a further £5,000 to bring to an EPC D.
- Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the standard.
- Regulations to set out the criteria that local authorities need to take into account when a landlord claims an exception.
- Local authorities to keep a record of properties that have an exception.
- Landlords would be subject to a civil penalty for letting a property that does not meet minimum standards.
Benefit from making your property more energy efficient
Making energy efficient changes to your property could result in:
- Raised property values
- Higher EPC ratings, to comply with the introduced minimum energy efficiency standards and to help make properties easier to let
- Lower energy bills for tenants leading to them being warmer at home
- Reduce rent arrears and defaults
- Lower turnover of tenancies
- Meeting energy and heating efficiency standards set for the landlord accreditation scheme
- Reduced levels of fuel poverty experienced by tenants
- Reduced incidences of condensation and dampness
- Reduced carbon dioxide emissions from properties
Free advice and property assessments
Our advisors at Home Energy Scotland can provide you with free, impartial advice on how to make your property more energy efficient. You can speak with them on 0808 808 2282 to:
- Get advice on financial support, eligibility, how to apply and what schemes can be combined
- Arrange for a specialist to visit your property to assess what can be done and take you through the options. An assessment of which renewables systems may be suitable can also be undertaken at the same time if you are interested in technologies such as solar PV, heat pumps, and wind turbines.
Call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 for advice or to arrange a free property assessment.
Financial support for landlords
- Home Energy Scotland Loan: This interest free loan, funded by the Scottish Government, is available to eligible registered private sector landlords in Scotland for energy efficiency improvements, home renewables systems or connections to an approved district heating scheme powered by a renewable energy source. The loan is available to landlords who operate as ‘natural persons’ and it can be possible to apply for support for up to three properties. Cashback grants are also available for a limited time for energy efficiency improvements.
HEEPS Equity Loan: A Scottish Government pilot programme which aims to give homeowners and landlords (with no more than 2 properties) in Perth and Kinross, Stirling, Dundee, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, Argyll and Bute or the Western Isles local authority areas access to funding to make improvements to the energy efficiency of the property and make repairs to the fabric of the building. Funding will be in the form of an equity loan and will allow homeowners to borrow against the value of their home.
Resource Efficient Scotland SME Loan: Funded by the Scottish Government, interest free loans of £1,000 to £100,000 to help private sector landlords to install measures that will improve the energy efficiency of their properties.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI): Landlords who install or have already installed an eligible renewable heating technology could receive quarterly payments over seven years to help cover the costs through the UK Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.
Feed-in Tariffs (FITs): This scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2019. If an eligible system has already been installed or you are interested in support available in future for electricity generating systems please visit our Feed-In Tariffs page.