The Scottish Government has published its analysis of a consultation it held this year on introducing a minimum energy efficiency standard and amending the repairing standard for private rented sector housing. There were 198 responses and the government has now made an announcement on how it plans to proceed with the proposals.

It said: ‘The Scottish Government has committed to introducing standards in the private rented sector to improve the energy efficiency of the least efficient properties. We will continue to refine the proposals taking account of the consultation responses. ‘We will confirm the standards, including an appropriate lead in time, as part of the route map for Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme, which will be announced in 2018.

‘We are committed to ensuring that every private tenant is able to live in a safe and good quality home. Informed by your consultation responses, we intend to lay draft regulations to this end in parliament in 2018. ‘The changes will include provisions for the tolerable standard being included in the repairing standard; a minimum standard for safe kitchens; a fixed heating system; lead free pipes (and, where it is not possible to establish if lead pipes are present, water quality testing); safe access and use of common facilities, including secure common doors; residual current devices; risk assessment of private water supplies and annual water quality testing; capacity for a fridge/freezer and safety of heating systems using other fuels.

‘We will also provide clarity on whether holiday lets are subject to the repairing standard. A lead-in time of at least five years will be proposed for any changes to the repairing standard, along with the use of existing enforcement routes for the proposed new measures. ‘At this time, we do not intend taking forward proposals for thermostatic mixing valves. Other proposals around asbestos surveys, the provision of cookers, fridges and freezers, sound insulation and food storage space are being considered further. Changes to the repairing standard will not be explicitly linked to wider government milestones on climate change.

‘A decision has not yet been taken on extending the repairing standard to agricultural tenancies, rented crofts and small holdings. Further considerations will take place on this matter, and will be informed by findings from the Agricultural Housing Condition Surveys.’

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