Landlords facing fines

The National Landlords Association Scotland has warned Scottish landlords face massive fines if they do not provide Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for prospective tenants…

Since yesterday, 4th January 2009, all landlords starting new tenancies in Scotland must provide tenants with an EPC or risk being hit with a fine of £5,000 for each rental property they own which does not have a certificate.

The EPC, which details the energy efficiency and environmental impact of a rental property, must be made available to prospective tenants at the earliest opportunity.

When a tenant moves in, it needs to be fixed in an accessible, visible location inside the property.

The certificate is valid for ten years and can be reused as many times as required within that period. Landlords do not have to commission a new EPC each time a new tenancy starts but they are required to give a copy of the latest EPC to new tenants.

To help landlords in Scotland and across the UK comply with the new rules, NLA EPCs was launched in July, offering certificates for NLA members for only £69 including VAT and providing over 2,500 EPCs to date.

Jim Parker, Chairman, NLA Scotland, commenting on the EPC legislation, said, "Now for the first time, prospective tenants in Scotland will be able to see the heating costs of the houses and flats they view, in advance of signing on the dotted line. And given the current economic problems, it's likely many tenants will start voting with their wallets.

"Landlords are already investing in energy saving measures in response to the need to cut bills but Scottish Government should properly explore a full range of measures to encourage more landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their rental accommodation.

"NLA Scotland is supporting landlords through NLA EPCs, making it as easy as possible for them to comply with the new EPC rules."

Source: Mortgage Introducer