Propertymark has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on their proposed Heat in Buildings Bill, which aims to reduce carbon emissions in buildings and contribute towards the Scottish Government’s ambitious 2045 Net Zero Target.

The leading trade body for property agents, has warned that to prevent further shrinkage in the supply of private rented accommodation in Scotland, landlords must have access to grant funding to decarbonise their properties and sufficient time to implement changes.

The Scottish Government’s proposals include a new minimum energy efficiency standard which will require landlords to install home insulation measures, heating controls and draught-proofing by 2028 and homeowners by 2033.

Other proposals include a ban on polluting heating systems, including oil, gas and LPG boilers following the purchase of properties from homebuyers. Consumers buying property may have to convert to sustainable heating systems, including heat pumps, between two and five years following the property purchase. High Street commercial properties may also be forced to end the use of polluting heating systems if they are within a Heat Network Zone.

Certain properties should be exempt from measures

Responding to the consultation, Propertymark warned the Scottish Government that some properties are extremely difficult to decarbonise, and they must consider some properties should be exempt from the measures. These include heritage properties that have planning restrictions, expensive to decarbonise and where tenants simply refuse retrofit work to be carried out.

Tim Thomas, Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark, said: “We support the Scottish Government in their ambitious plan to achieve Net Zero by 2045, and of course the housing sector must play its part. However, given the challenges we have seen from the cost-of-living crisis, both landlords and homeowners will need reasonable support and time to decarbonise.

“The proposals will have a wide impact on both sales and letting agents in both the Scottish residential and commercial sectors. We have called for the Scottish Government to reconsider some of these proposals to make them achievable and to ensure that Scottish property agent’s voices are heard through further engagement.”