The Scottish Government is consulting on new standards on energy efficiency and conditions for properties in the private rented sector.
The Scottish Government are proposing to:

 - introduce a new standard for energy efficiency, which will involve improvements to the most inefficient homes over time to make them warmer and cheaper to heat and run
 - make changes to the repairing standard, which privately rented housing already has to meet, e.g. considering if landlords should provide fridges, freezers and cookers for tenant.

We want to hear from tenants, to gather your experiences and what you think about the Government's proposals and how they will affect you - for better or worse.  Feel free to ignore any questions you don't want to answer. 

We'll use your response to communicate tenants' viewpoints to the Scottish Government, and to help form our views.  We'll make sure this is all confidential.

If you have any questions about this survey, or wish to talk it through in more detail, please contact Lisa at lisa_glass@shelter.org.uk or on 0344 515 2469.
start
 
Firstly, are you a private tenant?

You're still welcome to complete the survey if not, but we just need to know for our analysis!

 
Now for questions on part 1 - new standards on energy efficiency for the private rented sector...

 
Do you find your home hard to heat?

     
 
Do you worry about your fuel bills?

     
 
Tenants can get free and impartial advice on energy saving, renewable energy and access to funding from Home Energy Scotland.  Other advice agencies also provide information to tenants on these areas.

 
Before reading this question, would you know where to go for information and advice on energy saving, and reducing fuel costs?

     
 
Do you have any views on the existing advice and information provision provided by the Scottish Government for tenants? What changes, if any, do you think are required?

 
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) needs to be provided to all prospective and new tenants.  This has been a requirement since January 2009.  An EPC tells someone, in rough terms, how energy efficient a property is: EPC A is very efficient and EPC

 
Are you aware of what an EPC is?


 
Did your landlord provide you with the EPC certificate?

This is only applicable if you moved in after January 2009.

 
What EPC rating is your current property?


 
The Scottish Government is proposing that all privately rented properties that are inefficient, i.e. require more energy to run and keep warm, thereby costing more money, will need to be improved.  They propose private rented properties should be brought

 
Do you agree that landlords should have to improve their properties to make them more energy efficient and cheaper to run?

     
 
Any comments?

 
The Scottish Government propose: - all properties changing tenancy after 1st April 2019 should be at least EPC E - all properties should be EPC E by 31st March 2022 (so even if a tenant has been in the property for 5 years the landlord will have to do

 
Do you think these sound like the right dates to start applying the minimum standards of E and D?


 
Why do you think this? Any more comments?

 
If the property has an EPC lower than E (i.e. F or G) (then in future D), - owners will have to carry out a 'minimum standards assessment' before they rent the property out - the assessment will detail the work that needs to be done to bring the proper

 
Do you think the owner should have to carry out a minimum standards assessment before renting the property out?


 
Do you think it's reasonable to allow 6 months for the improvements to be carried out after the assessment?

This means the landlord might have to carry out these works when you're in the property.

 
Any comments?

 
If a landlord doesn't comply, the local authority will have to enforce the standards.  The following fines have been proposed: - £500 for failing to have a minimum standards assessment - £1,000 for failing to carry out the works within 6 months

 
Do you think these proposed fines are appropriate and proportionate?


 
Do you think that fines are the appropriate penalty? If not, click 'other' and tell us what else would you recommend? (e.g. removal of landlord registration)


 
Any comments on fines and enforcement?

 
Landlords won't, under the current recommendation, be expected to pay more than £5,000 to bring their property up to EPC E, and a further £5,000 to bring it up to EPC D.  It is proposed there are some grants and loans available for landlords to help co

 
Do you think this is reasonable?


 
Are you concerned this cost might be passed on to you in a rent increase?

     
 
Any other comments?

 
Should there be any other exemptions to these requirements?

For example, where tradesmen are difficult to find, or if there are issues with listed building consent.
 
Would you be interested in talking to us more about this?

     
 
What is your name?

You don't need to tell us this if you don't want to, and we won't share this with anyone else.
 
Now for questions on part 2 - amending the repairing standard for the private rented sector.

The repairing standard applies to private rented tenancies (excluding agricultural tenancies).  Private tenants can ask that their landlord ensures their property meets the repairing standard by applying to the First-tier Tribunal.  Local authorities can also report breaches of the standard to the Tribunal. 

It is proposed to make changes to the repairing standard including:
 - adding some elements that are currently expected in social housing (e.g. food storage, central heating and lead free pipes)
 - adding some additional safety elemtns (e.g. to reduce risks from electrocution, asbestos, and installing mixer taps to prevent scalding)
 - whether homes should have fridges and freezers, and
 - whether the repairing standard should apply to agricultural tenancies and some other kinds of lets.
 
In social housing, there must be at least 1 cubic metre of food storage space either in the kitchen itself or immediately adjacent to it.  This space doesn't include fridges, freezers, open shelves, drawers, and space under sink units. 

Do you think private rented housing should have a minimum standard for food storage space?


 
Currently, homes must have "satisfactory facilities for the cooking of food within the house" and the capacity to support such activity safely - i.e. an appropriate power source and space for a cooker.  Landlords do not need to provide cookers, fridges o

 
Do you think landlords should have to include capacity for a fridge/freezer (i.e. space and appropriate power source)?


 
Do you think private landlords should be required to provide cookers, fridges and freezers for all tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit and Universal Credit?


 
Any comments on fridges, freezers or cookers?

 
There is no requirement to provide noise insulation from internal sources of noise from other people, objects or activities in neighbouring properties.


Antisocial behaviour legislation includes details on levels of permitted noise, however if the noise problem is due to poor sound insulation with people going about their normal day to day activity then an abatement notice to make the owner take action to reduce the 'nuisance' is unlikely to be served.
 
Do you think the repairing standard should be amended to include flooring materials to reduce sound transmitted to other homes?


 
Are there any other measures to reduce sound transmission that you think should be considered, or do you have any comments on the above? Is sound from neighbours an issue for you?

 
Do you think that private rented housing should meet a minimum standard for safe and secure common doors - e.g. entry systems, and thumb-turn locks for exiting the building (so you wouldn't need your key to get out in an emergency)?


Thanks for sharing your views - we'll make sure they are heard!

If you have any questions get in touch with Lisa at lisa_glass@shelter.org.uk or on 0344 515 2469.
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