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Publication - Research Publication

Energy efficiency and condition standards in private rented housing: consultation analysis

Published: 14 Nov 2017
Part of:
Housing, Research
ISBN:
9781788513906

This report presents an analysis of responses to the consultation on energy efficiency and condition standards in private rented housing.

147 page PDF

1.2MB

147 page PDF

1.2MB

Contents
Energy efficiency and condition standards in private rented housing: consultation analysis
Meeting the standard in all private rented properties by 31 March 2022 (the "backstop date")

147 page PDF

1.2MB

Meeting the standard in all private rented properties by 31 March 2022 (the "backstop date")

It is proposed that all privately rented properties should meet the minimum standard by 31 March 2022, whether or not there has been a change in tenancy since 1 April 2019. If a property has an EPC rating of Band F or G, the owner would need to have a minimum standards assessment carried out and lodged by 30 September 2021 ("backstop assessment" date) and would then have 6 months - to 31 March 2022 - to make improvements identified as necessary to bring the property up to a rating of band E.

Question 1.9 - We think that all privately rented properties should have to meet the minimum standard by 31 March 2022. Where a property does not have an EPC of E:

(a) Do you think that we should require the owner to carry out a minimum standards assessment by 30 September 2021 (the "backstop assessment" date)?

(b) Do you think that we should allow a period of six months from the backstop assessment date to carry out the improvement identified by the minimum standards assessment?

(c) Do you think that the owner should have to provide a post-improvement EPC to prove that the necessary improvements have been made?

Please explain your answers.

Table 12: Question 1.9a – Responses by type of respondent.

Type of respondent Yes No Don't know Not answered Total
Organisations:
Energy-related private sector 3 1   1 5
Landlord 6 15 2 5 28
Letting agents etc. 5 4 1 2 12
Local Authority 15 6 1   22
Other 1   3 4
Professional body 10 6   10 26
Third sector 6 1   4 11
Total organisations 46 33 4 25 108
% of organisations answering 55% 40% 5% 100%
Individuals 33 42 6 9 90
% of individuals answering 41% 52% 7% 100%
All respondents 79 75 10 34 198
% of all respondents 40% 38% 5% 17% 100%
% of all those answering 48% 46% 6% 100%

There was no clear balance of opinion at this question. Of those answering, 48% agreed that the owner should be required to carry out a minimum standards assessment by 30 September 2021. However, 46% disagreed and 6% said they did not know. Overall, organisational respondents were more likely to agree than individuals (55% and 41% respectively). Within organisations, landlord and letting agent respondents were the only groups in which a majority did not agree.

The Shelter Scotland report asked private tenants if they thought the owner should have to carry out a minimum standards assessment before renting the property out. Of the 24 private tenants who answered this question, 22 thought they should and two said they should not.

Table 13: Question 1.9b – Responses by type of respondent.

Type of respondent Yes No Don't know Not answered Total
Organisations:
Energy-related private sector 4   1 5
Landlord 6 12 3 7 28
Letting agents etc. 6 4   2 12
Local Authority 17 4 1   22
Other 1   3 4
Professional body 11 5 1 9 26
Third sector 7   4 11
Total organisations 52 25 5 26 108
% of organisations answering 63% 30% 6% 100%
Individuals 28 42 10 10 90
% of individuals answering 35% 53% 13% 100%
All respondents 80 67 15 36 198
% of all respondents 40% 34% 8% 18% 100%
% of all those answering 49% 41% 9% 100%

As at Question 1.9a, there was no clear balance of opinion at Question 1.9b. Of those answering the question, 49% agreed that a period of six months should be allowed from the backstop assessment date to carry out the improvement identified by the minimum standards assessment. However, 41% disagreed and 9% said they did not know. Overall, organisational respondents were more likely to agree than individuals (63% and 35% respectively). Within organisations, landlords were the only group in which a majority did not agree.

The Shelter Scotland report asked private tenants if they thought it was reasonable to allow 6 months for the improvements to be carried out after the assessment. Of the 22 private tenants [5] who answered this question, 17 thought it was reasonable and five thought it was not.

Table 14: Question 1.9c – Responses by type of respondent.

Type of respondent Yes No Don't know Not answered Total
Organisations:
Energy-related private sector 4   1 5
Landlord 6 14 1 7 28
Letting agents etc. 2 7 1 2 12
Local Authority 20 2   22
Other 2   2 4
Professional body 10 5 1 10 26
Third sector 8   3 11
Total organisations 52 28 3 25 108
% of organisations answering 63% 34% 4% 100%
Individuals 32 42 6 10 90
% of individuals answering 40% 53% 8% 100%
All respondents 84 70 9 35 198
% of all respondents 42% 35% 5% 18% 100%
% of all those answering 52% 43% 6% 100%

A small majority of those answering the question, 52%, agreed that the owner should have to provide a post-improvement EPC to prove that the necessary improvements have been made. Overall, organisational respondents were more likely to agree than individuals (63% and 40% respectively). Within organisations, landlord and letting agent respondents were the only groups in which a majority did not agree (20% and 29% respectively).

Around 150 respondents made a comment of some kind at Question 1.9 although a significant proportion of these referred to their answer at Question 8, or restated views expressed elsewhere in their response, including whether there should be a backstop date at all and whether the date should be set as 31 March 2022. The small number of additional comments to those made at Question 8 included:

  • That if the owner has not done the work by 2022 it is likely that it is either too expensive, or that they are not going to do it, and there should be a provision to withdraw the property from the rental market at that point.
  • As long as the owner has evidence that the property has an EPC of band E by 31 March 2022 then they should be considered to have complied with the requirements and an MSA should be optional. It was argued that introducing a requirement to have an MSA by 30 September 2021 adds an un-necessary level of bureaucracy and would be difficult to police and enforce.
  • How meeting the standard by the 'backstop date' can be monitored was also questioned. Although it was noted that the Energy Savings Trust holds a record of dwellings rented to a new tenant after 1 December 2008, it was suggested that there may be landlords with a long-term tenant who do not obtain an EPC and do not do improvements. How will such landlords be policed?
  • It was also suggested that the practical barriers to minimum standards assessments being carried out by this backstop date require careful consideration – particularly the need to train assessors. It was suggested that skills development should be considered alongside the 'skills pipeline' conversation within the design and development of SEEP. If significant resource is being directed through SEEP, this should align with and contribute to other important policies on which SEEP depends, including regulation of energy efficiency in the PRS.

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