Why Scottish Landlords Need to Be Proactive About Energy Ratings

02/11/2020 11:52:04

In this three-minute read, we look at the latest developments on Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings and what they mean for landlords.

With so much focus on Covid-19 right now, it’s easy to forget that other challenges, such as preparing for new EPC rules, are on the horizon.

The government has delayed the launch of the Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2020, which were due to come into force on 1 April 2020.  The work on improving energy efficiency in private rented housing will resume once the current COVID-19 crisis comes to an end.

Before the delay, the new regulations stipulated that all private rental properties in Scotland must have a minimum EPC rating of E. However, from 1 April 2022, any new tenancy will require the property to have an EPC of at least D.

And by 31 March 2025, all tenancies will require the property to have an EPC of at least D.

These dates will likely change due to the delay, but the requirements will not.

Looking ahead

While we’re still battling our way through the pandemic, it’s tempting to file the issue of EPCs in the too hard basket.

2022 and 2025 may seem like a long way off at the moment, but these deadlines will roll around soon enough. 

When it comes to property, it always pays to take a long-term approach. That way, you can:

  • Space out any measures you need to take to lift your property’s EPC, rather than forking out for them in one hit.
  • Avoid finding yourself in a last-minute rush to get tradespeople to carry out works at your property before the government deadline.
  • Plan and research what you want to do at your property to add maximum value and get the best deal on products.
  • Get your finances in order if you are going ahead with major works.

Issues to consider

The age of a property significantly influences its energy-efficient status. A new-build, for example, will most likely generate much lower energy emissions than a standard Victorian terrace. 

If you are looking to improve your rating, consider installing: 

  • Double or triple glazing.
  • Loft and wall insulation.
  • Solar panels.
  • Ground-source heat pumps.
  • An energy-efficient boiler. 

The efficiency of a boiler forms a fundamental part of an EPC rating, so if you’re looking to achieve real impact, the boiler is the Big Daddy.

Obviously, new boilers aren’t cheap, but you will be adding value to your property and improving its appeal to renters (who wouldn’t want to live in a property where the bills will be lower?).

Long-term benefits

As we move forward, the emphasis on energy use (and misuse) is only going to become more pressing. Any measures that you take to make your property more sustainable will serve as a selling point in the future.

The key is to plan now, so you can implement them in your own time.

If you’d like to get more advice about how to improve the energy rating of your property or to be kept up-to-date with changes to government regulations on rental properties, then get in touch with us here at Scottish Property Centre. We can advise you on the best way to manage your property and do your bit for the planet.

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