Real Estate

We are often asked by our clients who regularly deal with properties in England and Wales if they need an EPC with a minimum rating of E for commercial properties in Scotland. In short the answer is no; EPC regulations are not the same north and south of the border.

England and Wales

In England and Wales, regulations which are due to come into force on 1 April 2018 will prevent private Landlords from letting either domestic or non-domestic properties with an EPC rating lower than E (unless they can point to a specific exemption).

Scotland – Non-domestic

The equivalent regulations for non-domestic buildings in Scotland do not impose a minimum EPC rating requirement – however other measures apply.

The Scottish regulations which have been in force since 1 September 2016 apply to non-domestic buildings (or units designed for separate use) with a floor area over 1000m² unless they comply with Scottish Building Standards from 2002 or later.

If the regulations do apply then the owner will need to obtain a section 63 Action Plan before letting or selling the property. Instead of preventing a property with a poor rating from being let, the focus is on either carrying out the improvement works recommended in the Action Plan or monitoring and recording energy efficiency annually by obtaining a Display Energy Certificate.

Our legal update provides more details on the operation of these regulations.

Scotland – Domestic

Currently there is no minimum EPC rating or Action Plan required for private domestic properties in Scotland. However, the Scottish Government is currently consulting on the introduction of a minimum EPC rating requirement for private rented housing in Scotland: “Energy Efficiency and Condition Standards in Private Rented Housing” .

The consultation proposes that the minimum standard for these properties would initially be Band E and would then be raised to Band D. There is a suggestion that the minimum rating would be raised further at a later stage. The initial trigger would be new tenancies granted from 1 April 2019.

The Scottish Government is seeking views on the proposals contained within the consultation paper and you can submit a response online before it closes on 30 June 2017.

Our colleagues from the Land and Rural Business team have recently blogged about the repairing standard aspects of the consultation.

If you have any queries regarding energy efficiency requirements for Scottish properties, please get in touch with your usual contact in the Real Estate team.

Catriona Heggie

Catriona Heggie

Senior Solicitor at Brodies LLP
Catriona is a Senior Solicitor in Brodies' Real Estate team and has a wide range of commercial property experience. Catriona advises clients on property finance matters, investment acquisitions and disposals and commercial leasing transactions for various types of properties.
Catriona Heggie

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